New Coleraine college campus plan gets green light
The multimillion-pound redevelopment of the Northern Regional College's Coleraine Campus can go ahead, planning officials in the Causeway Coast and Glens council have said.
The plan will see the current college building demolished and development on the existing site, with the NRC's Ballymoney campuses absorbed into the new education hub. It's part of an £84m redevelopment of NRC campuses in both Coleraine and Ballymena.
Proposals for both projects were submitted to the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in January.
The Coleraine campus looks to be the first over the line, with planning officials recommending the project go ahead. Their report is due to go before the council's planning committee on June 26 for final approval.
The application for the Ballymena campus remains in the planning process. It involves a new complex built on the site of the existing Farm Lodge campus. It would also incorporate a piece of land that was formerly part of St Patrick's Barracks.
The projects, which are being funded by the Department for the Economy, are scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2022. A community consultation process was carried out for both sites last year, garnering largely positive responses.
The college's Coleraine plans also require work to be carried out to the listed St Patrick's Parish Centre, including roof alterations, an extension and internal refurbishment works.
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Planning officials have said that work should also go ahead.
Recommending that the college development proceed, a report to the Causeway Coast and Glens planning committee said that while the new campus will lead to the loss of open space, it considered the community benefits significantly outweighed such a loss.
Councillors will have the final say on the recommendation on June 26.