Residential proposal will restore 'domestic function' to 1790 property in Toomebridge

A planning application has been submitted to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for new housing with associated landscaping and parking at Main Street, Toomebridge.
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The proposal comprises the demolition of 42 Main Street to provide new access and replacement with one apartment, the redevelopment of the existing terrace, 36-40 Main Street to provide seven apartments over three floors and the demolition of existing out-buildings for the erection of ten dwellings (two detached and eight semi-detached) to the lands to the rear.

A design and access statement has indicated that the property at 36-40 Main Street was originally built as a three-storey “terrace of houses” around 1790 and was listed in 1974 due to its “significant contribution to the archaeological heritage of the area”.

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“In more recent years, the terrace was remodelled and extended to commercial units on the ground floor and apartments above. The change is extensive, particularly at the rear of the property, so much so that 36 Main Street was de-listed in 2009 due to it no longer meeting the statutory policy tests as a building of special architectural or historical interest.

Main Street, Toomebridge. Pic: Google MapsMain Street, Toomebridge. Pic: Google Maps
Main Street, Toomebridge. Pic: Google Maps

“Still currently listed, 38-40 Main Street remains a substantial terraced three-bay, three-storey house and although the interior has been largely modified and no original details remain, the appealing traditional characteristics remain and serve as a reminder of the early town community.

“The proportions and styles of the block of buildings suggest that they are of similar date, forming part of the historic core of the village of Toome. Materials for the construction of houses in Toome were locally sourced: stone was from nearby Carn rock, the lime was sourced from Magherafelt, slates from Ballyronan and Belfast and timber from Belfast.

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“The over-arching concept is to re-establish the site as a residential hub by correcting the recent remodelling/conversion of the terrace block along Main Street and restoring it to a domestic function as was the original use when it was designed and built in 1790.

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“Building design will take into account the visual character of building types in the immediate locality. The appearance of the proposed dwellings will be in keeping with the existing built form in the area and draws upon the best local traditions of form, materials and detailing. The choice of materials and colours will complement the surrounding context and respect the existing listed building."

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter