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Northern Ireland quarry approved for development

Northern Ireland

A former quarry in Northern Ireland is the key part of a housing development to bring new residents to Ballyclare.

The abandoned quarry has been disused for years after previously being excavated for aggregate for local usage. The disused quarry is now filled as a lake. It features large amounts of filled land, and impressive cliff faces as a result of quarrying. 

Antrim and Newtownabbey Mayor Mark Cooper BEM said the development was “substantial” for the local area.  

“This is a substantial development in a thriving town where the new residents will find excellent sport, education and leisure facilities to support a healthy, active life,” he said.  

The development would feature housing, retail and services units, a community hub, a children’s playground and medical and fitness facilities.  

The project is expected to deliver 70-80 construction jobs across six to eight years of building. According to the council statement, it has an estimated gross development value of £90m – £100m ($140m AUD).  

A land assessment from OSM Environmental Consulting demonstrated the abandoned quarry would be fit for development. The report stated that the “former use of this land will not inhibit future site development” and the proposed development would not pose a “significant risk” to the local environment.  

“Bringing new families into the local economy in Ballyclare will mean a boost for retail in the town and enhance the community as a whole,” Planning Committee chairperson Robert Foster said.  

Disused quarries are becoming common areas for housing development as governments try to solve the housing shortage in Australia and abroad.  

In Queensland, Keperra Quarry is being used as a significant housing development. Elsewhere, a former quarry site at New Epping has been green-lit for quarry redevelopment by the Whittlesea Council for mixed-use plans. 

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