The local Councillors have been instrumental in leading the campaign to save the historic site – along with other interested people and organisations, including Holywood Conservation Group – since 2011 when the listed building fell into a perilous state and put on the market by Ireland’s bad bank NAMA.
Councillor Larry Thompson said: “After a long campaign I am delighted to see restoration of this amazing building on the right track. Cultra Station House was designed in the style of Charles Lanyon, built in circa 1863 and was listed in 2007 when threated with demolition.
“This unique building has long been on the Built Heritage at Risk Register but will hopefully soon be restored and rejuvenated as two apartments. The two storey portion of the property was originally living accommodation for the station master and the single storey portion was the area for waiting, ticket collection and other areas associated with a railway station.”
Commenting on the site receiving planning approval, Councillor Andrew Muir added: “Whilst I remain very disappointed planning approval took over sixteen months I am thankful to all those who helped us achieve this important milestone and for the patience of the developer.
“Whether it was Dominic Hannigan TD who helped secure sale by NAMA in late 2012, successive Environment Ministers Alex Attwood and Mark H Durkan or the many interested people and organisations, together we have delivered a success story to be proud of. With planning approval now granted we are finally all on-board and ready to travel forward at full steam towards restoration.”