The Waveney Community Centre, which has been closed since 2009 due to deterioriation and associated safety issues, is set to be demolished.
One of Ballymena’s longest established and best known community centres, its pending removal is sure to be felt by many living close by in the Doury Road area and Rectory Estate as the end of an era.
At their meeting on Tuesday night in the town, members of Mid & East Antrim Council’s Community Planning Committee agreed an officer recommendation to demolish the building in a bid “to eradicate risk, and also safeguard the public from injury”.
A report presented to members also stated that removal of the building would cost an estimated £19,500 but that Council staff would liaise with the Department for Communities over potential funding for the work as part of the overall Doury Road regeneration plan.
The report stated that following a Building Control Condition Report, Ballymena Borough Council took the decision in February 2009 to close Waveney Community Centre due to the deterioration of the fabric of the building, and a range of maintenance and health & safety issues which rendered the building unfit for purpose.
Council’s Condition Report concluded the building, which had been built in 1970, was not fit for facilitating functions/activities.
Following recent complaints from neighbouring residents regarding anti-social activity around the Centre, a Site Inspection was carried out in June of this year and the recommendation from a Health & Safety Officer was that, for safety reasons, the building should be demolished ‘as soon as reasonably possible’.
The Committee’s approval to move forward with demolition on the proposal of the Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales, seconded by Councillor Paul Maguire, will go to the full council for ratification in September.