10-year development plan for Barracks

Editorial image
Editorial image

A plan which could see the former St Patrick’s Barracks site developed over a 10 year period is currently being prepared by its owners, DSD.

It has been confirmed that DSD (Department for Social Development) is working up plans for the ‘phased’ development of the substantial site which will include new housing together with potential new development for other public sector stakeholders such as the Department of Employment & Learning, NI Science Park, Education Authority and Mid & East Antrim Council.

DSD has now prepared a memorandum of understanding (MU) for each of its stakeholders to consider and last night (Monday) agreement to sign that memorandum was sought from the Council’s Economic Growth & Development Committee.

A report to the committee stated the MU “is to support the preferrred option of the Development Plan prepared by Planning Consultants appointed by the DSD to faciliate the re-development of the former St Patrick’s Barrack site” and that that the site was acquired by DSD from OFMDFM last September “for the purpose of bringing it back into use to stimulate job creation and maintain employment.”

A DSD spokesperson told The Times: “The Department in partnership with Council is taking forward a regeneration scheme with a number of other public stakeholders to develop the former St Patrick’s Barracks Site in Ballymena. The site is now owned by the Department and a development plan is being prepared to phase its development over an estimated period of 10 years.

“Mid & East Antrim Borough Council is a key strategic partner with DSD in taking forward this development. A draft informal agreement between the public stakeholders currently included in the development plan, referred to as a Memorandum of Understanding, is now being considered by each stakeholder.”