The proposal will make 318 parking spaces available on site when the project has been completed to provide an additional 273 bays.
It will also include a pedestrian and cycle path, lighting, CCTV, fencing, two cycle storage units and landscaping as well as new access arrangements at The Glade and widening at the junction with Carnmoney Road North.
The committee was told the existing facility does not provide sufficient car parking spaces and as a result has created problems with commuter parking in residential areas adjacent to the site and within an overflow car park at Mossley Hockey Club.
Threemilewater DUP Councillor Stephen Ross, who is also Deputy Mayor, told the meeting that he has spent the last seven years engaged with residents about parking objections and traffic congestion at The Glade.
Cllr Ross has been seeking clarification from Translink over access arrangements stressing that residents of The Glade and Mossley should not be “negatively affected” by this application adding that he does not want to see what he described as a “rat-run” developing through The Glade.
Councillors were told the aim of the development is to facilitate all passenger parking in the proposed new car park.
A report to the Planning Committee stated that 22 neighbouring properties were notified but no letters of objection, support or representation were received. Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Roads said it had no objections.
A new separate access and exit arrangement has been proposed to
“address the flow of traffic with the benefit of providing a ‘drop-off loop’”, the report noted.
Agent David Mountstephen told councillors that proposed access is for a “single entrance point and single exit point”.
He reported that 25 people “got in touch” during the application period but there were “no objections and no representations”. He described the proposed new facility as “an important piece of transport infrastructure”.
Aidan Stott, Translink Project Manager, reiterated that there would be “one entrance and one exit” acknowledging the concerns of residents raised at the public consultation.
“We implemented the changes the local residents asked for. This would take nuisance parking away from the residents’ properties,” he stressed.
He went on to say that the new provision would be “more than ample to accommodate all cars within our site”.
In addition, design measures will be put in place an attempt to “dissuade anti-social behaviour”. These include boundary fencing, CCTV, lighting and speed control cushions.
A noise assessment submitted to the council concludes that the proposal will not have any “significant negative impacts in relation to noise disturbance”.
DAERA Natural Environment Division raised a concern that the areas of scrub and marshy grassland have the potential to support nesting birds and has recommended that any site clearance takes place outside the bird breeding season.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon urged Translink previously to “get a solution that meets the needs of most people in the area”.
She indicated that a request from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, to incorporate links to the council’s greenway strategy has delayed the project, although it should “ensure a facility that better meets the needs, not only of those who drive to our park-and-ride sites but of those who walk and cycle”.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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