Planning Portal

Ards and Down Area Plan 2015
Ards Borough: Newtownards Commerce (Page 2 of 2)

Lands at Castlebawn and adjacent lands at the Abattoir, Castlereagh Park, and Comber Road

A series of five development opportunity sites have been identified in those lands bounded by Court Street to the north, Portaferry Road to the east, Comber Road to the west and the Airfield to the south. Although each of these sites exists as a discreet unit on the ground, they are all adjacent to one another and can be developed either separately or as a single comprehensive development scheme.
Any built development should be low level and have regard to the safeguarding implications of the near-by airfield. In addition, no site works of any nature or development shall take place until a programme of archaeological work, has been implemented, in accordance with a written scheme prepared by a qualified archaeologist. The programme should provide for the identification and evaluation of archaeological remains within the site, for mitigation of the impacts of development, through excavation recording or by preservation of remains, and for preparation of an archaeological report.


The Castlebawn site is the largest element, approximately 24 hectares. This site currently has planning approval for a mixed use development including retail warehousing, leisure and business park, car parking, a new link road between Comber Road and Portaferry Road and a new pedestrian access to the development from Court Street. Future development proposals should be sensitive to its location adjacent to the Area of Townscape Character under Proposal NS 40 of the Plan in respect of layout and the size, design, massing and materials of any building to be erected. They should reflect the scale of buildings which typify the surrounding area of historic townscape including the medieval friary church ruins, listed buildings, other buildings and features of local historic interest and character and the historic planned development of Court Street and should also reflect the nature and scale of the garden enclosure. Development of the backlands at Court Street should take the form of traditionally constructed outbuildings maintaining ridge heights, materials and details.

Former Abattoir site, Portaferry Road

Closely associated with the Castlebawn site and accessed from the Portaferry Road are 3 hectares at the abattoir. It occupies a prime location for appropriate mixed uses in line with prevailing regional planning policy.

Castlereagh Park, Portaferry Road

Full planning permission was granted for retail warehousing in 1999 on this 2.7 hectares at Portaferry Road on the site of Castlereagh Park.

Sites (2), Comber Road

The two sites of 0.86 and 1.8 hectares on the Comber Road opposite the junctions with Circular Road and Jubilee Road present an opportunity for re development that would complement the Castlebawn proposal in line with prevailing regional planning policy. Development layout and access arrangements on the two sites shall ensure that buildings face on to the Comber Road.

Scrabo High School Site

The site of the former Scrabo High School presents an opportunity for redevelopment and the provision of appropriate uses in line with prevailing regional planning policy. A portion of the site is to be reserved for an Intermodal Transport Exchange Point/Park and Ride facility accommodating 100 cars in line with Proposal NS 37 of the Plan.
Future uses on the site should ensure appropriate landscaping measures and the retention of the band of planting on the border with the Kempestones Road, the mature hedgerow at the side of the tennis court, and those at the present entrance to the site on the Scrabo Road.
Redevelopment of this site would require the upgrading of the U243 Scrabo Rd the provision of a link footway towards Newtownards. A right turn facility would be required at the access to the site.

Junction of West Street and Brewery Lane

The site is a vacant lot in casual use as a car park, and once the site of Newtownards Cattle Market. The site offers an opportunity for residential, commercial or mixed development close to existing car parks and to the Bus Station. The re-use of this site would assist in regenerating an area immediately north of Regent Street which is currently under used. It could also be a catalyst to further regeneration in this part of the Town Centre.

Movilla Street

The site is a vacant lot, currently used on a casual basis as a car park, and is located on the south side of Movilla Street, at the eastern end of the terraced properties within the Town Centre. Development would close a gap in the street frontage. A commercial or residential use would be suitable.

West Street and East Street

The rear elevations of properties which face Regent Street and Frances Street are unattractive and under-used. Development of vacant and underused spaces along these streets would help regenerate and improve the appearance of this area of the town.

Junction of Castle Street and Old Cross Street

This junction is particularly important in the Town Centre townscape. It is a key entry/exit point and a focal point at one end of the main shopping frontages in the Centre. The Market Cross in the centre of the junction is a landmark feature. But the impact, which this junction might have in the townscape, is greatly reduced by leakage of space created by gaps in the street frontage, which would provide the sense of place and enclosure appropriate to this key location.
The public car parks on either side of Old Cross Street are particularly convenient to shoppers but they are equally disruptive to the townscape of this historic quarter of the town. They create a swathe of roads and parking surfaces, open to view down Castle Place and through to Court Street, reducing the visual enclosure of the Market Cross junction. Development of these sites would significantly enhance the appearance of this key Town Centre location.
However, with minimal loss of parking space much greater enclosure could be achieved by developing across the northern portion of the existing car park on the west side of Old Cross Street, to complete the built-up street frontage on the south side of High Street. Such a development could provide additional retail floorspace in the Primary Retail Core, whilst with careful design, providing a landmark building and eliminate extended views of the car park and blank gable-ends.

Junction of Castle Place and Movilla Street

With minimal loss of space in Movilla Street car park, the completion of the built frontage to the corner of Movilla Street on the east side of Castle Place, would provide additional retail floorspace within the Primary Retail Core.
Development would further improve the townscape by eliminating views from High Street across Movilla Street car park to the rear elevations of buildings fronting Francis Street. Such a development would provide further enclosure to the Market Cross junction and the eastern end of High Street.
Proposal NS 47 Town Centre Housing
The following areas of Town Centre Housing are designated in accordance with Policy HOU 3 in Volume 1 of the Plan and as indicated on Map No. 2/002e, Newtownards Town Centre Map. They include parts of:
  • Robert Street;
  • West Street/Mary Street;
  • East Street;
  • East Street/Windmill Row;
  • John Street/John Street Lane; and
  • Upper Court Street/Pound Street
  • Canal Row
These areas provide a valuable housing stock and are home to established communities which contribute to the variety and vitality of life in the Town Centre.
Proposal NS 48 Local Centres
Local Centres are designated at the following locations in Newtownards as indicated on Map No. 2/002a, Newtownards Settlement Map:
  • Stratheden Heights
  • Scrabo Estate
Local centres have been developed at these locations to provide a range of services for the immediate community.
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