Boost for Larne after green light for revamp of derelict waterfront
Planning permission has been granted to transform a rundown part of Larne in a move that has been hailed as a significant boost for the area.
Comprising 13 hectares on the edge of the town, the development will transform the redundant Kelly's Fuel Yard at Bank Road, known locally as Howden's Quay.
The proposals include waterfront residential development, leisure facilities and small unit industrial development.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "Developing this former industrial site will bring a much needed boost to the local economy.
"This approval is a good example of my department delivering its commitment to facilitate economic regeneration, whilst ensuring the protection of the North's high quality environmental assets.
"The redevelopment of Howden's Quay has posed particular challenges in dealing with its industrial legacy and in the difficult topography of the site.
"However, this development will create a quality built environment which at the same time recognises and helps sustain the internationally important habitats and wildlife of Larne Lough and the wider Antrim Coast."
Mr Durkan said it was an example of his vision for a better environment and stronger economy.
The applicant behind the scheme is John Kelly Limited.
The site is located at Bank Road on the southern edge of Larne, adjacent to Larne Lough and Glynn Wood.
Most of the site had been in industrial use, and part of the northern end of the site is currently used as a fuel depot.
The application is for a mixed use development with approximately 55% of the site given over to housing, 30% earmarked for new industry and the remainder to be developed for leisure uses.
Mark McKinty, an Ulster Unionist councillor for the area, said it was a welcome boost for the economy.
"The Howden's Quay area has been derelict for some time at one of the main entrances to Larne town, despite its development potential," he said.
"Larne residents and visitors noted the positive impact of minor improvemets prior to the Giro d'Italia. This latest announcement is a welcome boost for the local economy."
Mr McKinty said he continued to support a similar regeneration project at Magheramorne Quarry which, he said, would be complementary to the project behind yesterday's announcement.
"I repeat what I have said many times before: Larne is an attractive place in which to live, work, visit and socialise for all – let's promote it far and wide," he added.
"My aim is to create a better environment and stronger economy. This approval is a good example of this commitment. It will facilitate economic regeneration but at the same time protect the North's high quality environmental assets."
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan