St Patrick’s Barracks: Green light for major housing and leisure development at former Army base

St Patrick's Barracks, Ballymena. The final parade took place at the base in October 2017. Plans are now being progressed for the redevelopment of the site. (Archive pic)
St Patrick's Barracks, Ballymena. The final parade took place at the base in October 2017. Plans are now being progressed for the redevelopment of the site. (Archive pic)

Plans for the regeneration of a disused military base in Ballymena moved a step closer today after planning approval was granted for the St Patrick’s Barracks site.

The Department for Communities (DfC) submitted three planning applications comprising one outline application for the creation of a flagship, shared, mixed use, housing-led regeneration scheme and two full planning applications for the proposed Northern and Southern Link Roads.

Former Royal Irish Rangers housing accomodation at St Patrick's Barracks in Ballymena. (Archive pic by Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker)

Former Royal Irish Rangers housing accomodation at St Patrick's Barracks in Ballymena. (Archive pic by Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker)

The approvals were granted at a meeting of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

The regeneration of the site is being led by DfC, working closely with the council and other stakeholders and statutory agencies.

Amongst the plans for the site are up 140 homes, a £30 million leisure health and wellbeing centre and new road network.

Paul Carr from DfC said: “The Department is delighted to have obtained planning approval for the St Patrick’s Barracks site. This is an important step and represents the achievement of a major milestone in the regeneration of this site.

“As well as approving the site as a shared, mixed use, housing-led regeneration scheme, the approved Northern and Southern Link Roads will allow the site to be fully incorporated into the existing Ballymena town centre offering.”

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council also has plans to locate an ‘Integrated Industrial Inspiration and Innovation Campus’ on the site to arm local people with the skills to compete on a global stage as digital innovators and entrepreneurs.

Council chief executive Anne Donaghy said: “The plans for the St Patrick’s Barracks site set out a hugely exciting future for the town. It is great to reach this milestone and move one step closer to the exciting plans becoming a reality.

“As a council, we are fully committed to supporting business growth and development, and promoting an environment that encourages and facilitates investment in our borough.

“Together with the backing of our elected representatives – who have demonstrated unwavering support to our focus on economic growth – we have introduced and delivered a number of initiatives which have the potential to transform the economy in this borough.”

The department and partner organisations will now move towards implementation of the roads and access infrastructure and develop plans for the site in more detail.