£50m Newtownards retail scheme approved

Published Monday, 22 October 2012
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A £50m retail development that will restore listed buildings at the historic Castlebawn site in Newtownards has been approved by Environment Minister Alex Attwood.

£50m Newtownards retail scheme approved
The scheme will see listed terrace buildings incorporated into a retail area. (© UTV)

The plans will see a 20,000 square metre development that will straddle the Ards Town Centre boundary, creating retail opportunities and converting a listed terrace in Court Street into a shopping mall.

The scheme will also incorporate, restore and enhance public access to the historic "bawn wall".

The department received 23 objections to the plans but Mr Attwood said the regeneration and restoration as well as retail gains of the scheme had convinced him that it should go forward.

"Given the existing major retail offering in Newtownards - including a Tesco and a recent approval to extend the Ards Shopping Centre - I wanted to be vigilant on how this application might impact on a town that has a great trading reputation, including in this time of double dip recession," he said.

"This was a judgement that I came to after much thought. It is the decision that, overall, is the better way to proceed. The fact that it is an edge of town/in town development is one that can also work to protect town centre retail.

"As Environment Minister I not only want to protect the environment, but also do everything I can to create jobs and develop the economy. This scheme will help with construction jobs and I hope create opportunities in the retail sector."

Mr Attwood said his department is working to clear approximately 40 remaining major planning applications waiting to be processed.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
BLair Hamilton in Thailand wrote (827 days ago):
This has got to be some sort of sick joke,It will be a white elephant.the country is on its knees,and these clowns at Stormont are throwing 500000 million pounds at this,what about the austerity cuts?reoen the existing shops,but you dont want to do that too much trouble,your pathetic not one of you are any good nore like good for nothing.
G in Belfast wrote (827 days ago):
This is great news, nice shiny new retail units to sit empty! Was out shopping at the weekend and it is depressing, shop after shop closed and lying empty on the main streets. And not much better in the shopping centers. Who is going to fill these new shopping centers. Surely the local goverment should be trying to get retailers into the existing shops rather than creating more shopping centers!
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