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Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015
District Proposals: Ballyclare Town Centre

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Ballyclare Town centre is the fifth largest centre in terms of retail floor space within the Belfast Metropolitan Area following Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor and Carrickfergus. It offers a number of restaurants, pubs, cafes, retail use and leisure uses principally along Main Street and Market Square.
The Department as part of the Plan process has carried out a town centre health check to provide a benchmark against which to measure the effects of future change in economic activity in the Town Centre.
Within Ballyclare Town Centre there are a number of urban design issues. These include the presence of poor frontage and poor quality infill development in parts on the Main Street and Town Square, a number of reduced or blighted corners and clutter in the main focal space of the centre. There is also a poor quality of redevelopment on the eastern side of the Square and major areas of underdeveloped or under used backland, particularly immediately east of the square and Main Street. There are poor linkages to the areas of backland from the Town Centre and suburban areas and poor frontage along the riverside and underdeveloped links between the Main Street and the river.
The Plan Proposals seek to strengthen the Town Centre, facilitate regeneration, protect existing residential areas and address design issues. Development Opportunity Sites are zoned to promote development within vacant/gap sites for town centre uses and three Protected Town Centre Housing Areas are designated. Development proposals will be subject to urban design criteria, which will seek to address design issues.

Town Centre Regeneration

The Department for Social Development (DSD), is responsible for regeneration and proposes to bring forward its regeneration objectives for Ballyclare Town Centre through the initiation of necessary regeneration action at a pace which maximises the opportunity for physical, economic and social development and secures orderly regeneration across the Plan Area.
DSD is committed to promoting a vital and viable Town Centre in Ballyclare by helping it to adapt to changing circumstances and helping it to maximise its contribution to the prosperity of Northern Ireland. As part of this, DSD will promote administrative arrangements that help to achieve:-
  • better management and strategic planning for Ballyclare Town Centre;
  • the development of a vision for the future; and
  • a partnership approach involving all those in government, local authorities and the private sector who have an interest in the success of Ballyclare Town Centre.
To achieve these objectives, DSD will work with Newtownabbey Borough Council and private sector developers to facilitate sustainable regeneration.
DSD will consider the use of its statutory powers where appropriate to deliver the regeneration of Ballyclare through:-
  • the formation of regeneration strategies and policies;
  • the preparation of master plans;
  • the preparation of development schemes;
  • the preparation of development briefs; and
  • the appraisal of development proposals.
Development schemes and/or briefs prepared by DSD and its regeneration strategies, policies and proposals will be taken into consideration where relevant at the planning application stage.
Designation BE 22 Town Centre Ballyclare  
A Town Centre is designated for Ballyclare as identified on Map No. 3f - Ballyclare Town Centre.
Ballyclare Town Centre boundary is designated to encompass the concentration of all existing and planned uses which have a town centre function. These include retailing, professional services, restaurants, banking, estate agents, other office uses and community uses.
The boundary includes Main Street and Market Square, extending in a northerly direction along North End and along part of Rashee Road and Ballyeaston Road. Properties located along Mill Road, Park Street and Harrier Way and the Six Mile Water Leisure Centre are also included.
The boundary takes account of extant planning permission for retail development and includes Development Opportunity Sites on land between Main Street and Six Mile Water Leisure Centre and land between 22-26 Main Street and Park Street.
In order to retain consumer spending in Ballyclare Town Centre and attract national retailers, there is a need for Ballyclare to provide greater choice, quality and layout of retail provision. New retail development should address the problem of insufficient size and quality of the existing traditional retail property within the Town Centre.
Policy for the control of development in the Town Centre is contained in Part 3, Volume 1 of the Plan and in prevailing regional planning policy.
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