Published Wednesday, 05 December 2012
It is hoped the redevelopment at Queen's Parade could revitalise the area. (© Getty)
A hotel, convention centre, homes and offices have been planned for the Queen's Parade project, on a once-bustling terraced promenade in Co Down.
Plans to redevelop the area, which is now dominated by boarded up buildings and empty sites, have been in the pipeline for close to years
Developer Karl Greenfarm Properties Limited agreed to sell the land to the department for an undisclosed sum.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland welcomed the purchase.
"This will drive forward the development of Queen's Parade and in time it will help breathe life back into the town centre and restore Bangor's image as a destination town with tourist appeal.
"This is a prime opportunity site which when developed will improve the economic performance of the town centre," he said.
DSD will now be tasked with obtaining planning permission for the Queen's Parade scheme, after a previous agreement between the developer and the government department ran out of time.
"This is good news for Bangor," said Mr McCausland.
I have decided that my department will step in to take direct control of plans for the development of the Queen's Parade area of the town as outlined in the Bangor Town Centre Masterplan.
The masterplan identified Queen's Parade as the most significant opportunity within Bangor town centre.
It is hoped the redevelopment, carried out in consultation with local residents, will create a range of new sites.
Mr McCausland said the plan demonstrates the Executive's "commitment to supporting our high streets in these difficult economic times rather than letting this prime site in the heart of the town lie derelict".
"I appreciate that this has been a very unsettling time for residents and businesses but I now hope that this action will remove the uncertainty that they have been living and working with over the past number of years," he added.
Mayor of North Down Borough Council Wesley Irvine said the council was already working closely with the department to deliver projects.
"This additional investment will support the Bangor Masterplan and underlines the commitment to develop Bangor as a great place to live, work, visit and invest," he said.
A spokesman for Karl Greenfarm Properties Limited said: "We have agreed to sell our land portfolio to the department to allow DSD to develop this area in line with the masterplan.
"We believe this is a positive step forward for Bangor and will ensure the implementation of the plans in as timely a manner as possible."