St Patricks Barracks, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
The St Patrick’s Barracks, Ballymena is a 15Ha former army barracks site on the western edge of Ballymena town centre. The site was constructed between the 1930’s and 1990’s and was closed in 2007, since when it has been shut off to the local community. In seeking to bring the site back into use, the Department for Communities commissioned SYSTRA, as part of a multidisciplinary team to consider the development potential of the site. This included:
- Identifying any particular buildings worthy of being retained;
- Undertaking a masterplan of the site to identify the appropriate type and scale of development;
- Develop an access strategy which provided sustainable transport and vehicle access to the site without impacting on local residents; and
- Obtain planning approval for the site and associated access strategy.
The masterplan concluded that a mixed-use development including social housing, relocated leisure centre, offices, public /civic facilities, community enterprise facilities, hotel and conference facilities, employment, local retail and relocated Police HQ.
As part of the multidisciplinary team SYSTRA were commissioned to develop the transport elements of the masterplan which included developing a site wide access strategy, preparing a Transport Assessment to demonstrate the impact of the proposed development on the wider road network and local community and obtain Private Streets Determination approval for any new roads forming the access strategy.
The access strategy was developed in consultation with the local community and key stakeholders. The key element of the strategy was the provision of a distributor road through the east side of Ballymena town centre which accessed the site but also provided significant relief to town centre traffic congestion. Sustainable transport links (walking and cycling) formed a significant part of the access strategy to ensure strong links between the site and the adjacent town centre.