Major Ards peninsula village housing scheme gets green light

A major new housing development has been approved for a small village on the Ards Peninsula - but concerns were also raised about a lack of local services in the area.

At the latest meeting of the Ards and North Down Borough Council Planning Committee, elected members agreed to a major planning application for 63 new dwellings off Main Street, Carrowdore.

The approval came with a caveat from a local UUP councillor that while there were no objections, locals were wondering about the “lack of local infrastructure.”

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The development involves 13 detached and 50 semi detached houses, all two storey, each with two in-curtilage parking spaces.

The application is phase two at the site, which covers 50 Main Street and lands to the rear of 38 to 48 Main Street, Carrowdore. Phase one involves 25 dwellings at the site and was approved last November.

The site is on a vacant “brownfield” site to the northwest of the village, formerly the site for the Ards Building Products Ltd yard. The developer is JHT (Carrowdore) Ltd.

As the project is in the major development category, a full public consultation was carried out at the pre-application stages. The council received no representations from the public in support or in objection. None of the statutory consultees made any objections to the plan, with conditions.

The principle of development had already been established on the site, and the council planning report states the average plot size of each dwelling is “keeping with the character of the surrounding area.”

The report states the separation distance complies with planning standards and adds: “there is no inter-visibility between dwellings, no overlooking, loss of light or overshadowing, and there is no impact on residential amenity.”

The report adds: “Local neighbourhood facilities are not required due to the scale of the proposal.”

UUP Councillor for Ards Peninsula Pete Wray proposed the committee approve the application. He said: “This is a positive development in a growing village, and I welcome the increased quality housing in the area. However I am mindful of the community’s concerns about the lack of infrastructure and services in the area in terms of GPs, chemists and surgeries.

“This is not a planning matter, but I would like to put on record that it is something the council should at least be cognisant of.”

DUP Councillor Alistair Cathcart said: “It should be noted there are 63 dwellings here, and NI Water actually has capacity for that, which is something. Also, there are no letters of objection for what is quite a large development, and all the statutory agencies are on board.”

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