Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been asked to reconsider a plan for an ambitious £45m retirement village at Belfast Road in Carrick.
Proposals include accommodation including 321 units, a medical centre with 40 “assisted living” units above the premises as well as a 94-bed nursing home, a spa/well-being centre and “park and ride” facility.
The scheme, which was first unveiled in 2017, is believed to be Northern Ireland’s first dedicated retirement and assisted living village.
The council’s planning committee considered a request for the land which has been zoned for industrial use in line with the Carrickfergus Area Plan and Belfast Metropolitan Plan to be redeveloped.
The committee’s initial recommendation was to refuse planning permission.
The developer, Kilmona Holdings, was advised that the application was turned down because the landis zoned for industrial use.
Part of the new development would be located on the site of the former Courtaulds factory. It would include detached, semi-detached, three-storey and two-storey houses and bungalows and landscaping to include a bowling green.
Speaking at a recent meeting of the council’s planning committee, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said: “This is an extremely important site on the way into Carrick that has been derelict for decades despite all efforts by the owner to find industrial interest which have not been successful.
“The proposal for a retirement village has many attractions. There is the need for specialist housing .”
Mr. Wilson urged the committee to consider employment in a “wider context” than just industrial use, noting that construction jobs would be created as well as carers’ jobs, which he said, would be of benefit to the area on a site which is currently not providing any employment.
The planning committee has deferred any further recommendation.