Housing plan for The Countryman and reopening proposed for Misty Burn in Ballymena

A residential development is planned for the site of a vacant bar and restaurant at Grove Road, in Ballymena.
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An outline planning application has been submitted by G&C Pubs to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for 17 new dwellings and demolition of The Countryman which closed last year.

A concept statement says: “The development will comprise a mix of dwelling types and sizes to provide a balanced community, visual interest and to provide choice within the development. A mix of detached and semi-detached houses and apartments is proposed.

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“The use of different building types, frontages and forms will help create variety and interest in the lay-out thereby enhancing its visual character.

The Countryman, Ballymena. Photo: Google MapsThe Countryman, Ballymena. Photo: Google Maps
The Countryman, Ballymena. Photo: Google Maps

“Where the need for affordable housing is established by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the required 20 per cent quota will be set aside for affordable housing.

“The site has been designed to respect the existing environment and to be complementary to the existing development in the locality.

“The site will provide a frontage towards Grove Road and will utilise the existing vehicular access serving both The Countryman Inn and the adjoining Spar retail unit.”

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Meanwhile, a planning application has been lodged with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the redevelopment of the former Misty Burn cafe at Church Road, Glenwherry, outside Ballymena.

Misty Burn, Ballymena. Photo: Google MapsMisty Burn, Ballymena. Photo: Google Maps
Misty Burn, Ballymena. Photo: Google Maps

Viewing Area

The proposal is for an extension and alterations to existing restaurant area, shop, B&B accommodation to provide additional kitchen, restaurant, shop area, viewing area and three bedrooms as well as a car park extension with provision of electric charging stations.

A design access statement says: “It aims to retain, refurbish and upgrade the existing building, to extend the existing facilities including a modest two-storey extension to the side and rear of the property.

“The site at 2 Church Road, Glenwherry is a local landmark building with a long-standing history of providing local facilities to the surrounding area as a public house, shop, cafe and has a Victorian post box within the curtilage of the car park.”

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Previously, it has traded as The Battery Inn. The statement notes: “It aims to reopen the very popular Misty Burn cafe and restaurant. Given the ideal location for such a facility and lack of local amenities within close proximity, the new Misty Burn will fulfil the needs and demands of the local community and passing trade.

“This proposal is simply to extend all the existing facilities at the Misty Burn and enhance the services safeguarding the development for the long-term and meet the needs of its customers.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter