Belfast Telegraph

300 luxury homes planned for Co Antrim development

By John Mulgrew

Around 300 homes could be built in Co Antrim as part of a luxury housing development.

The Bashforde Park Village in Carrickfergus will include a mixture of detached, semi-detached, townhouses and apartment properties if it is given the green light.

It will also feature a community facility, creche and a children's play area.

The UK-based property company Farland is behind the ambitious development, with the planning application for the scheme being submitted by Farland Carrickfergus Ltd.

The company has also built other top-end housing schemes elsewhere in Northern Ireland.

The firm said the Carrick development, which is planned for two miles outside the town, would be "situated within a well-established residential area and benefits from good pedestrian and vehicular connections into Carrickfergus, as well as being located with ready access to localised services and amenities, such as schools".

The luxury houses will come in a range of price points and sizes, including large four-bedroom detached properties and other four-bedroom houses featuring a sunroom.

However, the Department of Communities' Historic Environment Division, has said that no work can begin on the site until it is examined by archaeologists.

Previous tests of the area in 2010 suggested it was home "substantial activity" during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

"No site works of any nature or development shall take place until a programme of archaeological work has been implemented, in accordance with a written scheme and programme prepared by a qualified archaeologist, submitted by the applicant and approved by the Department," a spokesman said.

The housing project would be one of the largest private developments to be built in Northern Ireland since the disastrous property crash of 2008.

The scheme is also one of many across the province.

In May, it was revealed that plans were under way to build 800 homes in Londonderry as part of a £100m development by the Maghera-based company South Bank Square.

Elsewhere, Carryduff firm Fraser Houses hopes to build 1,000 properties off Movilla Road in Newtownards. The Rivenwood project is expected to create approximately 500 jobs and will take between 10 and 12 years to complete.

Lagan Homes has also indicated that it is planning to construct 550 family houses in two locations in Bangor.

Proposals have additionally been lodged to build almost 400 homes just outside Coleraine. The project would be made up of a mixture of three and four-bedroom houses, alongside a number of apartments.

The application has been made by a Mr and Mrs McGrath, who live close by, in tandem with Coleraine architects GM Design Associates.

However, in Belfast city centre, design and cost problems have delayed a luxury £13m apartment block by up to a year.

The 75-flat Matic building was initially meant to include a 22m pool, private gym, 24-hour concierge service and four penthouse apartments.

But those behind the development recently announced they had "made a commercial decision not to proceed immediately with construction".

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