Mid & East Antrim Borough Council has granted planning permission for extensive work to be carried out at St Killian’s College in Carnlough.
In addition, Listed Building consent has been granted for works to the existing well-known Grade B1 listed Castle building, Garron Tower.
Hamilton Architects has designed a new 9,737sqm school building and Sports pitches for 800 pupils on the existing 11-acre site at Tower Road.
The redevelopment, which is situated in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, involves construction of a new stand-alone school building and refurbishment works to the ground floor of the listed building.
There are particular sensitivities with the site in terms of scenic location, listed status, areas of archaeological interest, and nearby protected national and European sites. There were no objections to the application.
The new buildings consist of two main school buildings seated between the retained Grade B1 listed St McNissi’s Chapel, Garron Tower and the historically significant St Josephs’ stable block.
The buildings are incorporated into the topography of the site, with the three storey East Block located where the levels of the site drop by over four metres. Views to the coast will be from the East Block. The prominence of the main approach of the building is considerate to the adjacent listed buildings and landscape.
The character and settings of the listed buildings on site will be maintained and enhanced. A phased development will allow the school to remain operational with main demolition works taking place during school holidays.
Project Architect Lucy Ashe said: “The design of the new buildings is modern, but sympathetic to the existing listed buildings. The development replaces the scattering of individual school units and brings a new lease of life to the campus.
“The new facility will provide an enhanced learning environment with specialist facilities and general teaching spaces. The refurbishment to Garron Tower Castle will include a single storey glazed extension providing a new entrance, and a corridor link to the new building’s sixth form accommodation.”
St Killian’s principal Jonny Brady said: “I am delighted at what is a significant step forwards toward a new school in east Antrim and the Glens.
“I am especially delighted for all our students and staff, who thoroughly deserve the best resources to continue delivering the high quality of learning and teaching which has been the hallmark of St Killian’s. It will be a great resource for the whole community.”