Saturday, 16 July 2016

Portrush - Bath Road Seascape

Ten years ago, in 2006, a planning appeals commissioner made the following observations about a proposed development in Portballintrae prior to rejecting the developer's appeal:

The existing cottages and seascape on the seaward side of Beach Road are part of the defining character of Portballintrae and are an indispensable element of its scenic surroundings. The intended development area has been a favourite location for painters and photographers seeking to capture the majestic qualities of this coastal landscape. These features are internationally recognised and attract many visitors and regular holiday-makers to Portballintrae.

The appeal schemes would be very visible features when viewed from the western approach into the village because they would be directly in the line of sight across the Bay to Runkerry Strand and the Giant’s Causeway. They would intrude markedly into the existing most attractive vista towards the Causeway Coast when descending into the settlement for more than 1km along Bayhead Road.

The beach that adjoins the north-eastern edge of the appeal sites together with the nearby rocks and sea pools comprise the most intensively used area of passive recreation in the village. The appeal proposals, if approved, would transform the western perimeter of this well used cove from a semi-natural grassy environment with a few traditional low-profile buildings set within it to a high and dense modern housing complex, to its overall detriment. Beach Road should act as the edge of the village rather than the high tide level on the foreshore. Development, if sanctioned at the appeal sites, would downgrade Portballintrae’s importance as a coastal resort, with adverse economic consequences.

The commissioner's observations and decision were subsequently ignored by the local planning service.

Will the restructured planning service permit the erection of a multi-storey apartment complex [C/2013/0497/F] between Bath Road and the Blue Pool on the eastern side of the Portrush peninsula?

X marks the location of the proposed multi-story complex

X marks the conceptual view of the complex
as seen from Antrim Gardens

Recent uninterrupted view of the Whiterocks
as seen from Antrim Gardens

Recent largely uninterrupted view of the Landsdowne
foreshore  as seen from Bath Terrace. Imagine
the visual impact of a multi-storey erection

Remnant of the public path that led from Bath Road to
the Blue Pool following demolition of Leander House
and the grassing-over of the site 

Grassed-over area has recently been fenced off