Portrush housing plan must be scaled back to safeguard Barry's funfair, says council
A company which wants to build 21 new homes beside the for-sale Barry's amusement park has been told to scale down its plans, to protect the venue.
Building firm McLaughlin and Harvey, which is based in Newtownabbey, wants to build 12 semi-detached houses, one detached house and eight apartments on Castle Erin Road in Portrush.
But some councillors at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council have said they are concerned that future residents might complain about noise coming from the amusement park.
The Trufelli family, which has owned and operated Barry's for 90 years, announced they were putting it on the market as a going concern earlier this month.
At a meeting this week, the council's planning committee agreed to give McLaughlin & Harvey's development the go-ahead - on condition that three apartments are removed.
The apartments are the parts of the development which would be closest to Barry's - and most likely to be affected by noise from revellers. DUP councillor John Finlay, a member of the council's planning committee, said he had agreed with a proposed amendment to remove the apartments.
"We don't want Barry's to be affected in the future by people complaining about the noise.
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"I think the planning committee have come to a reasonable decision to accommodate both.
"They can have their houses and Barry's can have its long-term future assured. Barry's is an attraction that Portrush cannot afford to lose."
A spokeswoman for the council said planning officers will now correspond with the agent for the application by McLaughlin & Harvey to request the removal of the apartments.
A report from the council's planners had recommended the development should go ahead, adding it was in keeping with the character of the general area.
It said Environmental Health had been consulted about the noise in the area and had been concerned that reports had not adequately taken into account the "highly colourful noise from Barry's Amusements [including] music, screaming and shouting".
However, it was deemed not to be steady or continuous noise - and less of a potential problem as Barry's is a seasonal operation.
The homes are planned for a site formerly occupied by the Castle Erin Hotel.
After the Second World War, the hotel was taken over by a Christian movement as a holiday venue for youth groups where alcohol was forbidden. The building was eventually knocked down and the site resold.