Plans for new MOT centre in Newtownabbey submitted to council

A planning application has been lodged with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for a new £12m Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) test centre in Mallusk.

The proposed new MOT centre is planned for a site at Craigarogan Business Park, at Antrim Road.

Mallusk’s DVA vehicle test centre is currently located at Commercial Way.

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As well as a new test centre, the planning application includes a single direction perimeter site road, lay-by parking, holding bay parking, HGV pre- test lay-up, exit forecourt area, motorcycle off-road driving test track, staff parking facilities and landscaping.

Mallusk MOT centre. Photo Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press

A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said: “The proposed new Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) test centre at Mallusk will cost approximately £12m and is expected to open in spring 2024.

“The new Mallusk test centre will have an initial capacity of 100,000 vehicle tests per annum and will comprise of two heavy goods vehicle/bus inspection lanes and one motorcycle inspection bay.”

In October 2019, an application was approved by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council for a new £17m DVA centre at Hydebank, which was initially expected to open in 2022.

This facility is expected to provide additional capacity for approximately 90,000 vehicles annually in the greater Belfast area when it is up-and-running.

In January last year, most vehicle testing services were suspended as a precaution over the use of all 55 lifts due to safety concerns.

Commenting on the findings of an independent investigation published by the Department for Infrastructure, Minister Nichola Mallon stated: “Most vehicle testing services at MOT centres were suspended in late January (2020), for safety reasons given the faults identified in the scissor lifts across all of the MOT centres.”

She described the situation as “unacceptable” blaming “an inadequate inspection regime and metal fatigue”.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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