No historic ruins found as developers seek to expand Larne town with major new housing scheme

No archaeological material has been found at the site of a planned large-scale housing development in east Co Antrim.

A very rough indication of where the houses are planned for
A very rough indication of where the houses are planned for

Plans had been submitted last July for 119 homes on a rural slice of land just outside the port town of Larne.

It would essentially expand the town westward, occupying farmland to the north and east of Ballyboley Road.

Permission was granted in May, but with conditions – one of which was that “no site works of any nature or development shall take place until a programme of archaeological work has been implemented”.

A map submitted as part of the plans

Now a report has been submitted to council planners to say that a series of archaeological digs in the area had turned up nothing of any import.

The report says that 38 “test trenches” were dug, and that “no archaeological features or deposits were identified”.

It recommends no more historic digs are needed.

The report had been done because there were about 20 recorded archaeological sites within a 1km (0.6 miles) radius of the site.

These ranged from a prehistoric stone circle and scattered flint to medieval Christian remnants.

In all, the site (covering about 55 acres) is expected to be made up of 44 detached homes, 62 semi-detached ones, four “maisonettes” and nine apartments.

It also involved creating open space, parking, and a realignment of Ballyboley Road.

In all, 30 consultation documents were sent out, with six residents from the area raising objections, and none supporting the development.

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