Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Ards Borough: Newtownards Commerce (Page 1 of 2)
Newtownards is the main shopping and retail services location in Ards Borough. In addition to its range of convenience and comparison goods shops the Town Centre also has a variety of retail, professional and cultural services, offices and restaurants. Retailing is characterised by its variety of independent and specialist shops, including a traditional department store. A Saturday market is held in Conway Square.
Newtownards has a compact Town Centre. In recent years commercial activity has expanded eastward along Frances Street to Bangor Road, and southward from Conway Square to the junction of South Street with Court Street/John Street.
The Development Strategy seeks to accommodate growth in the commercial role of the Town Centre to a greater degree than has been achieved during recent years. The assessment of the Town Centre health check shows a positive reaction to the variety/range of shops in the town however there is potential to increase the amount of floorspace and the range of choice available to shoppers. The amount of additional floorspace which will be provided during the Plan period will depend on variables such as household income, population change, household size and consumer behaviour. The success of the Town Centre in attracting new customers will also be a significant factor. New investment may also take place to replace ageing and unsuitable properties.
|Proposal NS 44 Town Centre|
|A Town Centre is designated for Newtownards as indicated on Map Nos. 2/002a, Newtownards Settlement Map and 2/002e, Newtownards Town Centre Map.|
Despite the physical expansion of retailing activity beyond the existing Town Centre boundary the enlarged area remains sufficiently compact to be convenient for shoppers and for customers of related services. The distribution of car parking and the presence of the bus station within the Town Centre enhances its accessibility.
|Proposal NS 45 Primary Retail Core|
|A Primary Retail Core is designated within Newtownards Town Centre as indicated on Map No. 2/002e, Newtownards Town Centre Map.|
The Primary Retail Core includes Conway Square and High Street the traditional focus for retailing in the Town Centre. The main shopping frontages which comprise the Primary Retail Core are on either side of Regent Street, from Gibson’s Lane to Castle Place and on either side of High Street from Conway Square to Castle Place. This will ensure the continuance of a compact and attractive shopping environment, offering both choice and convenience. The main concentration of retail floorspace in the Town Centre should continue to be within the Primary Retail Core.
Development Opportunities Sites are identified within the Primary Retail Core within which the Department will encourage and facilitate the development of additional retail floorspace and an enhanced range of shops. Opportunity sites have been identified where development will contribute to enhancement of the appearance of the Primary Retail Core, for example by strengthening the sense of enclosure around Market Cross.
This site comprising 2 hectares presents a poor impression of the town given its important gateway location to the Town Centre. Given the current uses on site and its location on the edge of the Town Centre the site is considered suitable for residential or light industrial or employment uses.
Any future building on this site should be of scale similar to that already existing in South Street and particular attention to detail should be given to the elevational treatment at South Street and on the south facing side as viewed from the Comber Road