Mid and East Antrim Council out of pocket after former Glenarm fish factory fire

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council failed to get an insurance pay-out after a blaze gutted a former fish factory premises in Glenarm, it has emerged.
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In response to a question tabled by Larne Lough DUP Alderman Paul Reid at this month’s meeting of the council’s Policy and Resources Committee, it was revealed that when officers lodged a claim with the authority’s insurance company, the company claimed that an exemption applied to the policy and “would not agree to cover the works”.

It was also stated that the council’s insurers required a complete list of all council assets, and at the time, the derelict fish factory premises were not specifically listed.

“Our legal advice did indicate we could attempt to challenge the exemption. However, the insurance company refused to consider the matter any further,” the councillor was told.

Former fish factory site, GlenarmFormer fish factory site, Glenarm
Former fish factory site, Glenarm

In a further response, it was stated that the borough council had bought the former seafront fish factory premises on November 1, 2019. In March, councillors were told that the fire was the result of vandalism.

The council’s Borough Growth Committee was informed that youths had been involved. The blaze at the New Road premises broke out on November 29 and was attended by crews from Carnlough, Larne and Belfast.

At the time, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said that the cause  was believed to have been “deliberate”.

Meanwhile, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to appoint a consultancy to develop  plans for Glenarm seafront following the collapse of a proposed high profile tourism venture for the village.

Previous plans for a hotel and visitor distillery failed to progress.

The council has approved the appointment of a consultancy team to take forward the concept plans developed by the local community in relation to the land surrounding the harbour.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter