Community Consultation - Proposed Ballycastle Leisure Facilities
PROJECT & CONSULTATION CONTEXT
Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council is undertaking a Pre-Application Community Consultation in relation to the proposed development of new Leisure Facilities at Lands between 13-39 Quay Road, Ballycastle. The project is jointly funded through the UK Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ initiative and Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council. The proposals for the Quay Road site have been developed in consideration of the new leisure facilities that will be provided at the Ballycastle Shared Education Campus, which include a 4 court sports hall, changing pavilion and 3 floodlit pitches (3G GAA Pitch, 3G Soccer Pitch and Astro turf Hockey Pitch). The facilities will be co-funded by Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council for out of school hours community use.
The proposed facilities consist of a 25m swimming pool (4 lane), gym, large studio, changing, reception/office, splash area and modest spa features, food dispensing/vending area, changing places facility, bouldering wall, outdoor pump track, off-road running/walking trail and accessible play park.
CONCEPT DESIGN STRATEGY
The concept design aims to sensitively integrate into the existing Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ballycastle Conservation area, Tow River Valley and surrounding residential context. The site strategy consists of 4 key design elements including a new state of the art Leisure Centre Building, Accessible Play Park, off-road walking/cycling trail and Outdoor Pump Track.
The proposed Leisure Centre has been carefully positioned to be respectful of the existing urban grain of the Conservation Area, with all facilities located on a single ground floor level to maintain key views from Quay Road to the Tow Valley beyond. The pitched roof forms reference the existing typologies of the surrounding residential context, with one roof form rising to address Quay Road and Ballycastle town, and the other rising to address the surrounding rural context and natural landscape of the Tow Valley and Fair Head. The proposed material palette of buff brick is a contemporary interpretation of the colour and texture of the buff sandstone used within some of the key civic buildings of Ballycastle, including the Holy Trinity Church at ‘The Diamond’ in the heart of the town. Profiled metal cladding is also used to reference the materiality of vernacular buildings found within the surrounding rural context.
Outdoor Pump Track
The proposed Outdoor Pump Track is located to the north of the site and designed to provide an exciting riding experience for all age groups and abilities. The track will be +100m in length and finished in hard-wearing asphalt to form a variety of straights, bends and raised berms, which can be used by both bicycles and scooters. A secure fenced boundary with gated access will be provided to the perimeter of both the pump track and play park to create safe leisure spaces for young children and mitigate against anti-social behaviour.
Accessible Play Park
The Accessible Play Park has been located to the south of the site where the existing topography facilitates universal access and to improve connectivity with the proposed Leisure Centre building. The concept design aims to provide a wide range of stimulating play experiences, catering for children of all ages and abilities. This includes careful consideration of specific play equipment that can be used by children with reduced mobility and the provision of multi-sensory play experiences including tactile surfacing, landscaping and interactive play panels.
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN & PERFORMANCE
The proposed Leisure Centre Building will be designed and delivered to achieve an environmental performance level of Operational Net Zero in line with Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council’s commitment to achieving Net Zero Emissions for all new Council Buildings. This performance standard means that the amount of carbon emissions associated with the building’s operational energy requirements on an annual basis is zero or negative. The proposed environmental strategy for the building includes:
- A ‘Fabric First’ approach to the design of all building elements to improve thermal performance
- High efficiency heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and hot water generation systems
- Control of solar gain through carefully positioned glazing and shading systems
- On-site renewable energy technologies including photovoltaic solar panels and heat pumps
SITE ACCESS DESIGN, PARKING & LANDSCAPING
The existing site entrance will be upgraded to provide a new right turn lane, creating safe and efficient access to the facilities for both motorists and pedestrians. A new car park with carefully positioned accessible parking, drop-off point and coach parking will also be provided to facilitate a wide variety of user groups across the development site. The current concept design provides 100 car and 4 coach parking spaces. Pockets of landscaping with native shrubs and trees will be planted within the development to enhance the site’s biodiversity and to provide a high-quality public realm experience. The existing 2 grass football pitches will be retained as will a slightly reduced Gaelic sport grass training pitch (still to governing body approved standard), which will also continue to be available as a grass events space.
Thank you for taking the time to review the consultation information. Anyone wishing to comment on the proposals may do so by contacting Hall Black Douglas Architects and requesting a digital questionnaire/feedback form via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via post at 152 Albertbridge Road, Belfast, BT5 4GS or via phone on 02890 737010. Feedback Forms completed during the Public Consultation Event at Sheskburn House on Wednesday 23rd August 2023 should be left at reception. All comments should be provided no later than 13th
September 2023. The consultation information can be made available in accessible or alternative formats on request at the contact details above.