Listed hall demolition plan on hold by planners

Thursday, 19 October 2017

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue to try to stop the demolition of the 'listed' Magill Hall at First Presbyterian Church in Broughshane.
The Guardian revealed last week that Mid and East Antrim's Planning Committee had approved the demolition by six votes to five.
It followed a lengthy debate during which both supporters and opponents of the demolition plan addressed councillors.
The committee finally decided to overturn a Planning Department recommendation to retain the hall.
Supporters argued that the building was not fit for purpose and the vast majority of the congregation at First Broughshane were in favour of the demolition to make way for a state-of-the-art replacement which would benefit everyone.
Church member and North Antrim DUP MLA, Paul Frew, who teaches at the church's Sunday school, said the current Magill Hall cannot be used by the community and a replacement was needed to advance their work.
Meanwhile a spokes-person for the Department for Infrastructure said the building could not be touched until the final decision was reached.
The spokesperson added: "Mid and East Antrim Borough Council notified the Department on October 5, 2017 that an application for the listed building consent had been approved at its Planning Committee.
“A decision on the listed building consent is on hold pending the Department's consideration of this matter.
“In their notification letter to the Department dated October 5 it was stated the full planning application shall not be issued until a decision has been taken by the Department in respect of the listed building consent."
Listed building consent is required before the carrying out of any work for demolition, alteration or extension of a listed building, which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historical interest.


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