Co Down seaside housing development a step closer
A major new housing development of nearly 160 homes looks set to go ahead in the Co Down seaside village of Millisle.
Planning officials at Ards and North Down Borough Council have recommended approval for the scheme, which would see 122 houses and 36 apartments built on the waterfront next to Seaview Caravan Park.
But the potential green light for the application is tinged with sadness for the Colwell family, who built the seaside caravan park on the Ards Peninsula 50 years ago.
David Colwell, who launched the bid for the modern housing development almost a decade ago, sadly passed away in January this year. He is survived by his wife Ann and their children Andrew and Alison. It's understood his family intend on carrying on with his vision for the site.
One local person, who did not wish to be named, said the housing scheme would be a fitting legacy to the efforts Mr Colwell put into developing the site from a family farm into a popular tourist destination.
The next stage of the site's development could now see dozens of family homes built in the seaside village.
Ards and North Down's new planning committee will decide on Tuesday whether they will back the recommendation of the council's planning officers to approve the application.
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The report reveals that the concept for housing on the site actually dates back to 1967, when the then Down County Council signed off on a dual application to put both housing and caravans on the site. While the Colwell family built the caravan site in the late 1960s, the housing scheme never fully materialised.
The modern plan surrounds one large 16.5 acre site and a second smaller area separated by Seaview Caravan Park. The larger site fronts onto the Donaghadee Road into the village, while the smaller plot would extend from the existing Ashley Park residential development on the Moss Road.
Planning officials concluded: "Given the planning history on the site and the acceptable siting, design and layout it is considered that this proposal should be granted planning permission."
Ards and North Down district is the second most expensive place in Northern Ireland to buy a home, after Lisburn and Castlereagh. The average house in the area was £150,247 in the first quarter of 2019, 0.8% higher than the same period in 2018.