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Planning award for Gobbins cliff path

By Noel McAdam

Published 15/12/2015

The Gobbins cliff path
The Gobbins cliff path

Northern Ireland's newest tourist attraction - the cliffside Gobbins walk in east Antrim - has already won an award.

Just four months after opening, the restored Islandmagee landmark landed a major accolade for "planning excellence".

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) said the historic site has overcome key issues "in an environmentally and sustainable way".

The judges said: "It also presented a compelling variety of economic benefits and some social benefits."

Praising the project's forward thinking and strategic planning, including preservation of the natural environment, their citation also remarked: "This was a great scheme that demonstrated strong enhancement to the local area."

The planning team phased each stage of construction so as not to interfere with the breeding bird season and have retained a consultant ornithologist on-site.

An area of basalt sea cliffs up to 60m in height, the project has revived the original Gobbins cliff path, installed in 1902 by engineer Berkeley Dean Wise, and involves a three-hour walk through a series of spectacular bridges and gantries and back again.

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