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Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Settlements: Magherafelt Town Centre

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Magherafelt town is the main shopping and retail services centre for the District and surrounding rural areas. It is located close to the Key Transport Corridor between Belfast and Londonderry and is linked to Cookstown via the A31. It has a multi-functional role providing educational, health, administrative, community and recreational facilities as well as being the focus of commercial activity for the area.
The town has several independent retailers providing a range of convenient and comparison goods centred on Broad Street and The Diamond. Meadowlane Shopping Centre contains some of the national retailers and there are several public houses, cafes, offices and banks throughout the town. There are several vacant properties and some gap sites in the town particularly close to the Broad Street/Church Street junction. There are current opportunities for new retail activities within the town centre particularly close to the Broad Street/Church Street junction where there are a number of vacant and under-utilised units. These have the potential to be refurbished or redeveloped with the option of utilising upper floors for non-retail use.
There is good pedestrian access to the centre from the bus depot located behind Broad Street and the main car parks located off Union Road, King Street, Rainey Street and Fair Hill. However, vehicular access to the town centre car parks is hampered by significant traffic congestion caused by the volume of locally generated and through traffic. There are a number of sites within the town centre which present opportunities for development.
Designation MT 36 Town Centre
A Town Centre is designated for Magherafelt as identified on Map No. 5 - Magherafelt and Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
The Development Strategy seeks to accommodate growth in the commercial role of the town centre by extending the town centre boundary and identifying a primary retail core.
The town centre has been designated to include a wide range of commercial and non-commercial uses and reflects the main business activity area. It includes Broad Street, the Diamond, Market Street, Queen Street, Church Well Lane, Church Street, Meeting Street, Fair Hill, Garden Street and sections of Union Road, King Street, Kirk Avenue, Moneymore Road and Rainey Street.
Development proposals within the town centre will be processed in accordance with prevailing regional planning policy and relevant policies within the Plan.
Designation MT 37 Primary Retail Core
A Primary Retail Core is designated within Magherafelt Town Centre as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
The purpose of identifying a primary retail core is to allow control to be exercised over development inside that area to ensure the continuance of a compact and attractive shopping environment, offering both choice and convenience.
The area includes the main retail outlets such as Stewarts supermarket, the Diamond Centre, Cuddy's and on the fringe is the Meadowlane Shopping Centre. It is a compact form centred around Broad Street, The Diamond, Market Street and Rainey Street with an extension to the south to include the Meadowlane Shopping Centre. The primary retail core also contains several banks and professional offices which are convenient in a shopping environment but any further expansion at street level within shopping frontages can displace significant amounts of retail floorspace, reduce shopper activity and impact upon the commercial viability of the area.
There are two development opportunity sites identified within the primary retail core, on vacant land at 19-21 Broad Street and 1-7 King Street in which the Department will encourage and facilitate the development of additional retail floorspace and an enhanced range of shops.
Development proposals within the primary retail core will be processed in accordance with prevailing regional planning policy.
The following sites MT 38 – MT 43 are designated as Development Opportunity Sites as identified on Map No. 5a – Magherafelt Town Centre.
Designation MT 38 Development Opportunity Site 19-21 Broad Street
A Development Opportunity Site is designated as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
Key Site Requirement:
  • Development proposals shall include retail use at street level.
This is a vacant site of 0.07 hectare, part of which is situated in the primary retail core in a prominent location. It contains a substantial hoarding filling a gap in the street frontage scene and gives a poor impression of the town centre where recent new developments have striven to achieve a higher design standard.
Designation MT 39 Development Opportunity Site 1-7 King Street
A Development Opportunity Site is designated as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
Key Site Requirements:
  • Development proposals shall include retail use at street level;
  • Development proposals shall be of a similar scale and appearance to the adjacent terrace in King Street.
This is a vacant site of 0.04 hectare mostly within the primary retail core. It is in a highly visible location at the junction of King Street and Church Street where traffic enters the town from the east and north.
Designation MT 40 Development Opportunity Site Land between 45 & 49 King Street
A Development Opportunity Site is designated as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
Key Site Requirement:
  • Development proposals shall respect the amenity of the adjoining dwelling and church properties.
This is an undeveloped site measuring 0.38 hectare located between a bungalow and a church hall and bordering the grounds of the First Magherafelt Presbyterian Church and Our Lady of the Assumption Church. The site is suitable for a mix of residential and commercial uses. The land rises to the south and west of the site which may restrict the buildable area.
Designation MT 41 Development Opportunity Site Land at Fair Hill
A Development Opportunity Site is designated as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
This site measures 0.45 hectare and incorporates an enclosed field and Government offices at the junction with Aughrim Road. The site is at a significant location on the main approach to the town from the east.  The long established prefabricated office buildings are unattractive and detract from the appearance of the street scene. The site is suitable for a range of uses including office, institutional and community uses.
Designation MT 42 Development Opportunity Site Land at the rear of Queen Street and Market Street
A Development Opportunity Site is designated as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
This site measures 0.75 hectare and incorporates the former cinema in Queen Street and several portions of backland currently in use as a fuel depot, service yards, car parking and vacant land.  Vehicular access is available from Queen Street and Kirk Avenue with other pedestrian only accesses also possible. The area is bounded on its southern side by the rear gardens of dwellings along Queen's Avenue. The site is suitable for office, leisure, entertainment, cultural and service uses.
Designation MT 43 Development Opportunity Site The Market Yard, Rainey Street
A Development Opportunity Site is designated as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
This is a historic site on the edge of the town centre that consists of mid and late Victorian basalt built 2 and 3-storey buildings surrounded by a high basalt wall, all of which are listed as of historic and architectural significance. Until recently it operated as a livestock market but now remains largely vacant. There is a current full planning approval for retail and offices units and a restaurant on the site. The site is suitable for offices and retail, a farmers market, variety market, or a leisure, cultural or community facility. Prospective developers are advised to liase with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency at an early stage.  
Policy for the control of development in development opportunity sites is contained in Policy SETT 3 in Part 2 of the Plan.
The following sites MT 44 – MT 45 are designated as Protected Town Centre Housing Areas as identified on Map No. 5a – Magherafelt Town Centre.
Designation MT 44 Protected Town Centre Housing Area, Garden Street
A Protected Town Centre Housing Area is designated as identified on Map No. 5a -Magherafelt Town Centre.
Designation MT 45 Protected Town Centre Housing Area, King Street
A Protected Town Centre Housing Area is designated as identified on Map No. 5a - Magherafelt Town Centre.
Policy for the control of development in Protected Town Centre Housing Areas is contained in Policy HOU 2 in Part 2 of the Plan.
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