Larne Area Plan 2010
Larne Town represents the main concentration of shopping within the Borough. It is considered necessary that the vitality and viability of the town centre is maintained and where possible enhanced by the addition of new and attractive shopping facilities. The commercial core contains the main primary and secondary retailing areas of the town centre. Large scale retail developments will not normally be permitted elsewhere unless they meet a need which cannot be satisfied in the commercial core.
- The comprehensive development of the vacant Laharna Hotel site and adjoining properties.
- The development of the existing vacant sites on Main Street. (See Town Centre Proposals Map No. 5).
- The redevelopment of the existing rundown properties on the corner of High Street/Pound Street. (See Town Centre Proposals Map No. 5).
The site is dominated by the former Laharna Hotel. A mixture of uses, residential and commercial, will be acceptable in this location. The Department will require any new buildings to be designed to acknowledge the visual importance and significance of the site.
It is proposed to strengthen the commercial base of the town centre by the development of these sites for retail use. Proposals for retail outlets will be acceptable in these locations. These sites are indicated on the Town Centre Proposals Map (Map 5).
Environmental improvement within the commercial core is vital if the town centre is to further develop. Improvements will include painting schemes, paving, street furniture and the re-routing of unsightly overhead wires. (See Town Centre Proposals Map No.5).
This will involve planting, paving and signage and a reduction in the number of parked cars. The main axis of the Commercial Core runs east-west from Glenarm Road to High Street and is centred on Broadway. This axis provides a strong linear character to the town centre.
This will include, planting, paving and removal of overhead wires. (See Town Centre Proposals Map No. 5).
It is proposed to exclude traffic from the west side of Broadway Square and to remove car parking from the central area. The resulting open space will become a Pedestrian Priority Area and an Environmental Improvement Scheme will improve paving, planting, lighting and street furniture. Access to Dunnes Stores car park will be through the existing car park at Circular Road. This square has great potential as a townscape feature and, when suitably refurbished, could considerably enhance the shopping environment within the town centre. Car Parking provision for the disabled will be provided as part of this scheme.
This proposal will help to improve the local environment of these secondary shopping streets providing there is no concentration of non retail frontages. Proposals for other uses in these streets will be considered on their merits.
There is at present 550 sq. m of vacant office space in the commercial core.
In order to retain the vitality of the town centre and provide a wide range of shopping opportunities it is important that prime retailing frontages at ground floor level are retained. Applications for change of use to local services or offices such as building society offices, banks and estate agents or to food uses may be acceptable, except where:
- the result will be a break up of the primary shopping frontages;
- a clustering of non-retail uses will be created;
- there would be a resultant domination of the overall area by non-retail uses.
Residential properties on either side of the street lend life to the town centre. The Department considers it essential to the vitality of the town centre for these properties to remain in residential use.