No to Cloughmills Community Hall

BALLYMONEY Borough Council has agreed to withdraw its application for planning approval for a community hall at Cloughmills.

However during a recent Leisure and Amenities Committee meeting, members did agree in principle to progress the provision a play area at Cloughmills deferring any decision on its location for one month.

The report explained: 'Earlier in the year Council identified and prioritised four community building projects as the amenities capital spend for which budget provision has been made. The various schemes, have with consultant support, now been progressed to the point where Council ought to indicate which, if any, are to be realised.

'It is recommended that Committee consider this matter with a view to making a recommendation to Council.'

The Director advised that in accordance with the decision taken at the previous Committee meeting, which had been endorsed by Council, he had written to the five Party Leaders to invite comments on the way forward as regards both Cloughmills projects, that is, the proposed community building and the possible provision of a play area and to date had received one response, which he outlined.

He further reminded members that given request by Planning Service for a Flood Risk Assessment at an estimated cost to Council of 9,500 further work by the Council's consultants had been stopped meantime on the Cloughmills Community Hall Project.

Referring to an earlier meeting the Director then circulated proposed plans for a play area for Cloughmills situated at the Council's Old Mill Site. A discussion ensued among members on the location of any proposed play area at Cloughmills, with both Cllr Finlay and Cllr McLaughlin commenting that the present play area location was unacceptable to residents in its vicinity due to misuse/anti-social behaviour - a view not shared by Councillor McCamphill. Cllr Bill Kennedy agreed that a play area ought to be provided in Cloughmills provided there was agreement as to its location.

The Director advised members that is was necessary to make a decision in relation to the progression or otherwise of the proposed Community Hall at Cloughmills, bearing in mind the request from Planning Service for a Flood Risk Assessment of the Old Mill.

It was proposed by Cllr Finlay, seconded by Cllr McLaughlin that Council withdraw its application for planning approval for a community hall at Cloughmills.

However it was also agreed continue to progress planning approval for the other three amenities capital projects namely (i) Community Building at Balnamore, (ii) Community Building at Stranocum, and (iii) Refurbishment of Community Building at Ballybogey, together with necessary car parking provision as well as agree in principle to progress the provision a play area at Cloughmills deferring any decision on its location for one month.