New Carrickfergus ‘link’ road given green light by Mid and East Antrim Council

A proposed new road and footpath between Bashford Park and New Hampshire Drive in Carrickfergus was approved at a meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday morning.

The proposal involves the development of a 110 metre stretch of road with adjoining pavements to link existing streets at New Hampshire Drive and Portsmouth Gardens with Bashfordslands.

Twenty-seven letters of objection and a petition with 30 signatures have been received by planners raising concerns over increased traffic, road safety and congestion.

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A report to the committee acknowledged that the proposal would result in an increase in vehicle numbers using New Hampshire Drive.

A new link road has been approved at New Hampshire Drive, in Carrickfergus. Pic Google

“However, Roads Service has considered that the existing road system is adequate to accommodate the expected increase in vehicle numbers,” the report noted.

Principal Planning Officer Gary McGuinness told councillors that an application for 289 new dwellings in the area was approved by the local authority in 2017 with three access points to be provided in the northern section of the development but there were none to the south. He said that the new link would “increase connectivity”.

He noted that Transport NI was “satisfied” with the plan.

New Hampshire Drive resident Sam Alexander told the meeting that his house would be adjacent to a “main turn” and he would be unable to access his drive way.

He stated that the application should not be “considered in isolation” and would result in a “reduction in amenity” for residents.

He expressed concern over the New Hampshire Drive access on to Prince Andrew Way which he described as “a recipe for a serious accident blackspot”.

Larne Lough DUP Alderman Paul Reid said that DfI Roads was consulted about the application in terms of road safety and flow of traffic and there was “absolutely no objection”.

Mr McGuinness told the meeting that it was “assessed quite extensively” by DfI.

He added that subject to conditions, DfI is “satisfied” this access is “acceptable in terms of road safety and confirmed they were happy with the anticipated flow of traffic”.

Ald Reid proposed that the application be approved seconded by Sinn Fein Coast Road Councillor James McKeown,

The application was given the go-ahead by 10 votes in favour to one against.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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