Full plans submitted for redevelopment of Carnfunnock Country Park

Friday 17 May 2024

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is delighted to announce that the full planning application has now been submitted for the redevelopment of Carnfunnock Country Park.

Over £6.1m in funding has been secured by Council for the project thanks to a successful funding bid to The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). This is a key milestone in the redevelopment of the park - a 191-arce site just outside Larne on the beautiful Coast Road.

The redevelopment of Carnfunnock Country Park will see investment in this much-loved Country Park ensuring a fit for purpose facility for both local people and visitors to the area.  Consultation has demonstrated the value of the park and the redevelopment will ensure this site remains a place for people both now and into the future - providing essential health and wellbeing opportunities.

Opened in 1990, Council recognised the need to develop the park to better cater for an expanding range of visitors. At present, there are accessibility issues plus the existing visitor centre and amenity block are dated, lack energy efficiency and are no longer fit for purpose.

The project will enable the parklands to be reinvigorated through the upgrade of its visitor centre and tourist amenities. It will also provide additional activities for older children/adults.

The redevelopment will include the following elements - a new visitor centre which will house a retail shop, café, meeting/function rooms and bathroom facilities, overlooking the coastline and a new caravan amenity block with a coffee dock and new toilet facilities.

Both buildings will be designed and constructed to Passivhaus standard which will reduce the energy requirements in accordance with the Council’s net zero ambitions, detailed within the Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 2023-27. Passivhaus will embed sustainable practices with both the design and operational stages of the builds, considering both embodied and operational carbon emissions.

A new bike park will also be created.  The existing adventure play park will be replaced and extended to include additional accessible play equipment. A new maze viewing platform is included to reintroduce a once existing feature within the park and the existing pathways will be repaired throughout the site.

Following feedback from the recent public consultation event, Council will also:

  • Expand the existing path access routes during construction.
  • Amend the external appearance of proposed buildings to help better integrate into the surrounding environment.
  • Include a dog park in the proposal.
  • Allocate funds for new planting within the walled garden.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have also confirmed the funding deadline for project spend is March 2026.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said: “Council is delighted to reach this key milestone in the project. Carnfunnock is a jewel in Mid and East Antrim’s crown providing a fantastic outdoor space for all to enjoy.

“The plans will transform this ever-popular site, improving current amenities and introducing exciting new additions to the area.  The redevelopment will not only make a significant impact on the park – future proofing it for years to come - but also benefit the surrounding area.”

Carnfunnock Country Park is situated on the famous Antrim Coast Road (A2), 3.5 miles north of Larne town and Larne Harbour and just over 20 miles from Belfast.

For further information on the consultation visit the Levelling Up Carnfunnock page.

To view the planning application visit the Planning System NI website.