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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Planners give green light for new glamping site near Slemish

A new glamping site outside Ballymena was given the go-ahead at a meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday.

Twelve letters of objection were received by planners over concerns such as noise, litter, privacy, visual impact and dogs worrying farm animals.

The proposed site at Carnalbanagh Road is within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The facility will consist of two glamping pods and a “bubble dome” and hot tub as part of a farm diversification project which is expected to bring in a revenue of almost £90k annually.

Councillors were told that it is to be located “two fields back from the public road” and the size and scale of buildings were said to be “modest”. There were no objections in terms of road safety.

North Antrim MLA Paul Frew said that he supported the application “100 per cent”.

“I see the need in this borough – for its tourist potential, economic potential and farm diversification that this brings. It is really good to see applications like this coming forward.

“It is near Slemish, yet very sensitive to the surrounding environment It will be a pivotal site for people from outside the borough coming to visit this area.”

Mr Frew also noted support for the application from surrounding businesses which he said had “suffered from the loss of the hotel in Broughshane”.

Agent Gary Lamont told the meeting this is a small development which is “carefully and sympathetically designed to cause minimal disruption to the local landscape”.

He explained that the structures are “movable” and designed in terms of size and finish and low in height to “keep visual impact to an absolute minimum”.

He added that they will not be visible from the adjacent road and will be positioned to maximise views of “one of the counci’s most popular tourist destinations”.

He went on to say that there is a lack of tourist accommodation in the Broughshane area.

Lane Lough Alliance Councillor Robert Logan said:

“I think this is a tremendous idea and I wish them well. I propose we accept the proposal.”

Coast Road Sinn Fein Cllr James McKeown stated:

“I am more than happy to second.”

Councillors voted unanimously to accept the proposal.


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