A plan for an unattended, 24-hour petrol filling station and car wash at Larne Road link has been approved by Council at Committee level.
The planning application submitted by Lissan Coal Company centres on a car park site at the IMC Cinema complex and will include a petrol filling station with five fuel pumps under a canopy and a car wash facility.
Bringing details to Thursday’s Mid & East Antrim Council Planning Committee, Senior Planner Kyle Patterson pointed out that the facility would not be manned and would not include a shop.
He added that no objections had been received from any statutory consultees or members of the public and that the approval was recommended, subject to conditions, by the Planning Department which considered it an appropriate form of development at the proposed location.
Speaking for the applicant, Mr Jason Taggart said they had a similar facility in Carrickfergus, two in Belfast, two in Southern Ireland and two others currently under consideration.
“It’s different. It’s unattended,” he told councillors adding that the site would be monitored 24-hours, that a representative of the company could be on the site within minutes, and that the lack of a shop discouraged any “lurking about”.
Responding to environmental concerns from Cllr Audrey Wales in relation to the close proximity of The Braid River to the site, Mr Taggart assured members that the proposal included forecourt drainage channels and a forecourt interceptor.
Mr, Patterson pointed out that NI Water had confirmed there was available capacity to connect the interceptor to the sewerage system and that the NI Environment Agency were satisfied with the application, subject to conditions.
Responding to concerns over the potential for increased traffic in the area, he said that, following amendments to the application, Transport NI were also satisfied.
Councillors went to approve the recommendation by a majority vote of 5-4 on the proposal of Cllr Lindsay Millar who told members that a similar facility which had been operating in Carrickfergus for four or five years was ‘a fantastic addition to a very busy commuter road’.