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Green light for former Glengormley police station site business space proposal

Concept designs for new business space in Glengormley have been approved by Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors despite concerns over car parking.

Office/workspace proposals for the vacant site of the former PSNI station at Glenwell Road are being developed ahead of the submission of a planning application.

The development is part of the £3.9m Glengormley Integrated Physical and Economic Regeneration Project. As well as the development of office/work space, it will include  shopfront facades for the main block from Creative Tiles to the Movie House, alongside a remodelling and upgrade of car parking and creation of a one-way system and a public realm scheme.

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The former police station has been demolished. The borough council has owned the premises since 2014.

The former Glengormley Police Station

Speaking at a meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council on Monday evening, Glengormley Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Goodman said: “I am concerned about the concept design for Glengormley.”

He noted that there will be potentially 200 employees on the site with  “considerably fewer” number of car parking spaces available.

“Given the recent planing decision at the junction of Ballyclare Road and Antrim Road and some of the issues around parking with that site, I am concerned that this site will go ahead with that number of potential employees on the site and parking issues associated with it. It is going to put an absolutely unbearable strain on parking in Glengormley and surrounding areas.”

Cllr Goodman suggested that as a result, motorists will park on side streets  which he described as “extremely worrying” and something that “needs to be scrutinised by members much more closely”.

Previously, Sinn Fein called for housing to be constructed on the Glenwell Road site.

Majella McAlister, deputy chief executive of Economic Growth, said that the scheme will be the subject of a planning application in due course which will deal with parking issues and will take into consideration the number of people on site at any one time.

“We will be looking at our own sites as well in Glengormley including Farmley,” she added.

Last week, Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors granted planning permission for 63 apartments and a retail unit through a £9m investment at the junction of Ballyclare Road and Antrim Road in Glengormley town centre.

The  site is that of a former petrol filling station and shop which is currently used by a car wash facility.

The proposal includes provision for 19 parking spaces and new vehicular access onto  Ballyclare Road.

A report to councillors said that DfI Roads considers that each unit should have a minimum of one space and that if the council  approves this application with “sub-standard parking”, then conditions must be proposed.

Threemilewater DUP Cllr Sam Flanagan, chair of the council’s Planning Committee, commented after the meeting:  “The development will  transform this area in the heart of the town and improve its appeal to shoppers and visitors and create significant supply chain and commercial opportunities for the wider business communities.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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