Proposed Retail Development At Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Bangor
Published on Thu, 22 Jun 2000
The Department of the Environment today announced that outline planning permission, would be granted for the proposed extensions to the Tesco and Marks and Spencer stores at Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Bangor, subject to restrictive conditions on the sale of comparison goods.
The associated applications seeking to extend comparison shopping facilities in the Mall will be refused.
A spokesperson for the DOE Planning Service said: "The Tesco and Marks and Spencer applications seek to extend the existing floorspace at each of the stores and provide for alterations to car parking arrangements and additional car parking facilities at the site.
"Conditions will be imposed to safeguard the viability of Bangor Town Centre and ensure that the primary function of the Shopping Centre remains the provision of locally accessible convenience goods."
The spokesperson concluded: "Planning permission will be subject to conditions including the space to be allocated to comparison goods and a legal Planning Agreement for traffic and access works which is currently the subject of discussion with the applicant."
It is expected that the final decision notice will issue shortly.
Notes for Editors
Nine applications in total were received in July 1996 and November 1997 seeking to extend the Tesco and M&S stores and to remove conditions imposed under previous approvals restricting the amount of floor space that can be devoted to comparison goods.
Notices issued on 10 September 1996 and 18 December 1997 applying Article 31 of the Planning (NI) Order to the applications on the grounds that the proposed developments would, if permitted, affect the whole of a neighbourhood.
The Public Inquiry opened on 18 March 1998 and concluded on 22 April 1998, lasting a period of ten days.
In its report dated 23 December 1998, the PAC recommended approval for the Tesco extension and refusal of the other applications while the Appointed Member at the Inquiry recommended approving the Tesco and M&S extensions and refusing the proposed Mall extension.
On 23 May 2000 the then Minister, Mr Howarth, accepted the recommendations of the PAC and the Appointed Member that the Tesco extension should be approved, as it meets the relevant planning policy criteria, and that the Mall proposals should be refused. However, with regard to the M&S extension the Minister accepted the recommendation of the Inquiry Commissioner that the application should be approved.