Plans to build close to 100 homes in Portadown have this week been given the go-ahead.
In all, 92 homes, complete with garages, will be built on a site adjacent to Drumford Meadow, on the Kernan Hill Road.
The proposals were submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for consideration a year ago.
Amended plans were later brought forward and the applicant, the Antrim Construction Company Ltd, has now been granted formal planning approval.
And it will make a substantial contribution of £100,000 towards the cost of a new play area – to be developed by ABC Council – under a Section 76 Agreement which accompanied the application.
The mixed development will see the construction of 48 semi-detached and 22 detached homes, as well as 18 townhouses and four apartments. The houses will be a mix of three and four-bedroom and the apartments two-bedroom properties.
There would also be 57 garages built too.
A programme of planting would see 142 new trees and hundreds of shrubs throughout the site too.
The actual site is described in the submission as being “north of and adjacent to Nos 33 to 36; 62 to 65; and 119 to 120 Drumford Meadow and east of and adjacent to No 97 Drumford Meadow, Kernan Hill Road, Portadown”.
The land at present is zoned and designated for residential development; previous applications for housing had been approved but did not go ahead, with plans submitted as far back as 2008.
Three objections and one response – described by planners as ‘non-commital’ – were received in response to the proposals.
These argued that there was insufficient on-street parking for the development and not enough open space.
One said the development would overlook their property and cause a loss of light.
The non-committal response said that visitor parking should be denoted within the development to prevent people blocking kerbs with cars. At the same time, this correspondent felt that open space was well located throughout the development.
The applicant is also entering into a financial agreement with ABC Council to contribute £100,000 towards the cost of a new play area for use by the “wider residential development in the area”.
Among the many exciting features are a multi-activity play unit, a ‘Rodeo-board’ rocking and rotating challenge, rope net climbing wall, sensory games including rock, paper, scissors, a ground graphic sunflower hopscotch, spring rockers, swings, slide and much more.
Many elements will be wheelchair accessible to ensure an all-inclusive play experience.
The park will also include picnic table, seating and litter bins too.
In approving the housing proposals, council planners concluded that they comply with the Area Plan and all relevant planning policies.