Planning Portal

Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Down District: Ballynahinch Commerce

Ballynahinch has a vibrant and compact Town Centre, with a wide range of shops and services concentrated along Main Street, High Street and Dromore Street.
It has recently benefited from environmental improvement schemes implemented by the Department and Down District Council in conjunction with the local community including Ballynahinch Regeneration Limited, focused on The Square and Fair Green. The redevelopment of the Market House will make a significant contribution to the regeneration of the Town Centre. Individual owners in conjunction with the Urban Development Programme are renovating a number of other key buildings.
The potential exists to improve the appearance of the Town Centre by the sensitive redevelopment of vacant upper floors for town centre accommodation or commercial use and improvements to shop fronts and signage.
There is also a wide range of under used gardens and vacant sites to the rear of properties fronting the main commercial streets. The positive use of these areas as pedestrian shopping areas with appropriate town centre uses would improve the appeal of the Town Centre.
A revised traffic circulation system has been implemented.
Proposal BH 25 Town Centre
A Town Centre is designated for Ballynahinch as indicated on Map Nos. 3/003a, Ballynahinch Settlement Map and 3/003c, Ballynahinch Town Centre Map.
Development proposals within the Town Centre will be assessed in the context of all prevailing regional planning policy and relevant policies in the Plan.
The Town Centre includes Main Street, High Street, Dromore Street, Harmony Road and part of Lisburn Street, Church Street and Windmill Street. It also includes the site of the Bus Station and a number of public car parks.
Proposal BH 26 Primary Retail Core
A Primary Retail Core is designated within Ballynahinch Town Centre as indicated on Map No. 3/003c, Ballynahinch Town Centre Map
Development proposals within the Primary Retail Core will be assessed in the context of prevailing regional planning policy and relevant policies in the Plan.
The purpose in identifying a Primary Retail Core is to allow control to be exercised over development inside that area, in accordance with prevailing regional policy and with relevant policy and guidance in this Plan, to ensure the continuance of a compact and attractive shopping environment, offering both choice and convenience.
Proposal BH 27 Development Opportunity Sites
The following Development Opportunity Sites are designated in accordance with Policy SETT 3 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/003c, Ballynahinch Town Centre Map.
  • Gardens to the rear of High Street adjacent to the Ballynahinch River
The gardens are for the most part under utilised and represent a genuine resource within the Town Centre adjacent to an existing car park and the Primary Retail Core. It is acknowledged that land assembly may prove difficult but the area has been targeted for action by the local Community Association in its Strategy for the regeneration of Ballynahinch.
The site would be suitable for a mixture of commercial/civic/residential uses subject to the resolution of access issues, in line with regional planning policy. This would create development in depth adjacent to the Primary Retail Core.
Any future development proposals should provide access to the Ballynahinch River, which is proposed as a linear walkway. Any future retail development should be linked with the main shopping frontage along Main Street by the provision of a pedestrian shopping arcade or walkway, where practical. Development proposals should also consider the impacton the historic built form and layout of the town and demonstrate how this has been taken into account.
  • Gardens to the rear of properties fronting The Square and Windmill Street
These are the former gardens of houses fronting onto The Square, now largely under utilised. It is considered that the site could be used for a range of mixed commercial uses incorporating town centre housing. It could be developed in conjunction with the on - going improvements to The Square to provide development in depth linked to the main shopping frontage, subject to the requirements of prevailing planning policy.
  • Court yards adjacent to High Street
There are a number of court yards to the rear of High Street accessed by traditional coach arches, some of which have been identified on Map No 3/003c. These provide the potential for development in depth to provide interest within the Primary Retail Core. Suitable uses would include pedestrian retail development restaurants or tourist related development. Any future development should retain existing traditional buildings, where practicably possible, with the emphasis on renovation rather than redevelopment. New build should integrate with the character of the existing courtyards in terms of design, scale and materials.
  • Gap Site adjacent to Dromore Street
This site is currently being used as a temporary car park. The opportunity exists to fill a gap in the frontage within the Town Centre through the provision of an appropriate mixed retail use with living accommodation on the upper floors in line with prevailing planning policy. Any future building on the site should integrate with adjacent buildings in terms of design, scale and materials and make a positive contribution to townscape.
  • Harmony Street
The opportunity exists to improve the range of commercial uses within Harmony Street perhaps in conjunction with a range of environmental improvements. This street is strategically located on the pedestrian route linking the Primary Retail Core and a new shopping development on Harmony Road. New development should provide traditional shop fronts to replace the existing dead frontages. Appropriate uses would include retail, office, civic with residential on the upper floors.
Proposal BH 28 Town Centre Housing
Areas of Town Centre Housing, on parts of Church Street, are designated in accordance with Policy HOU 3 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 3/003c, Ballynahinch Town Centre Map.
These areas provide a valuable housing stock and are homes for established communities, which contribute to the variety and viability of life in the Town Centre.
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