12 °CTue, 23

Approval granted for major new housing development in Galgorm

Jane Witherspoon

Reporter:

Jane Witherspoon

Permission has been granted for 50 new homes to be built off the Sand Road in Galgorm.

The recent meeting of Council's Planning committee approved the development, which will be constructed on 2.2 hectares of agricultural fields off the Sand Road.

The homes will be a mix of detached, semi-detached and cottage style houses and will range in price.

The committee heard that the sight is bounded by existing houses and that the new access to the properties will be off the Sand Road.

There were no objections to the housing applications from Transport NI, the Environmental Health Department, the NI Natural Environment Division, NI Water or the Historic Environment Division.

One letter of objection was received from a nearby resident who was concerned with the impact the development would have on the natural heritage and to the wildlife that currently uses the green field.

However, the Environment Agency assured there would be no adverse affect on any protected species.

The committee were also advised that prior to the commencement of the development, a landscape management plan showing all hard and soft landscaping and areas of open space shall be submitted to and approved by the Council.

All properties will have adequate private amenity space in the form of rear gardens, and a comprehensive planting scheme and areas of public open space have also been provided for.

Mr Chris Bryson, planning agent, spoke in support of the application and endorsed planners recommendations to approve it.

He said the applicant: "Worked to insure a quality development."

UUP Councillor Andrew Wilson asked about the results of a badger survey that had been carried out on the site.

Mr Bryson told him that badger sets had been found along the lower hedge line of the site, but that they were no longer in use or they were dormant.

He assured Cllr. Wilson that there were no signs of active badger sets.

DUP Councillor Billy Henry asked for assurance that there would be adequate parking for residents and guests.

Mr Bryson said: "Each property will be allocated at least two parking spaces" which complies with current public standards. Furthermore, the committee was told that Transport NI had been consulted with the plans and they were satisfied with the proposed car parking arrangement.

Committee Chair, DUP Councillor Paul Reid asked for added confirmation that the badger sets discovered were no longer in use and if the NI Environment Agency were satisfied that the sets were no longer used

Planner Kyle Patterson replied: "The original concerns with badgers existed along the mature hedgerow to the south of the application site."

Therefore he assured that the new development would not impact on any badger sets.

DUP Councillor Audrey Wales inquired about the exact location of the access to the development, expressing concerns that there is a steep hill on the Sand Road.

Mr Patterson said the access would be at the bottom of the hill, stating that: "It will comply with the highest possible standard in terms of road engineering."

He also revealed that two of the dwellings would have their own independent access to Sand Road.

With no other queries by the committee, Councillor Billy Henry proposed that permission be granted for the housing development while Councillor Audrey Wales seconded the proposal.

Unanimous approval was given, and the application was agreed.

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