Doubt remains over police station plan

Broughshane PSNI Station. INBT20-201AC
Broughshane PSNI Station. INBT20-201AC

A question mark still hangs over a plan to transform Broughshane’s former police station into a valuable community resource for the village.

It is understood the proposal involves turning the building into community premises providing a foodbank, housing for the elderly, telephone outreach facility and a restaurant, at a total cost of £435,000.

The former PSNI station was selected some 18 months ago as one of nine Community Asset Transfer projects involving the earmarking of unused public buildings for community redevelopment.

An expression of interest was lodged with the Policing Board by Broughshane & District Community Association (BDCA) with the support of Ballymena Borough Council and a project team comprising the Housing Executive, Triangle Housing, Council, BDCA, and Development Trust NI (DTNI), was established with the aim of developing the project as a Community Asset Transfer.

However, in an update to Mid & East Antrim Council last week, Chief Executive Anne Donaghy confirmed it was no longer a Community Asset Transfer and that the PSNI’s building would come at a cost in the region of £145k. The deadline for offers, she said, was June 1.

Councillors subsequently agreed her suggestion on the proposal of Cr W McCaughey, seconded by Cr Beth Clyde, that executive powers be granted to the Economic Growth & Development Committee’s meeting later this month to further consider the matter and the release of a letter of offer to BDCA for 55% (up to a max of £248,250) of the purchase price and developing the Station subject to an assurance that BCDA can fund the remaining £145k.

Mrs Donaghy informed councillors that the letter of offer would be legally caveated regarding full clawback if the project does not progress.