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Larne Area Plan 2010
Commercial Core

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The Department has defined a Commercial Core within which all new large scale retail developments will be located.
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.


A number of schemes are proposed to improve the appearance of the Commercial Core to attract both public and private investment. These include:–
  1. The comprehensive development of the vacant Laharna Hotel site and adjoining properties.
  2. The development of the existing vacant sites on Main Street. (See Town Centre Proposals Map No. 5).
  3. The redevelopment of the existing rundown properties on the corner of High Street/Pound Street. (See Town Centre Proposals Map No. 5).


The Department has identified a site at the eastern end of the main shopping street where a Comprehensive Development Area is proposed.
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.


A number of sites have been identified for retail use. These comprise vacant or redundant properties in Main Street, High Street and Pound Street.
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 Schemes are proposed along the whole of Upper Main Street and Main Street.
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).


It is proposed to improve the shopping environment in Main Street and Broadway by means of Environmental Improvement Schemes.
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.


The Department proposes Environmental Improvement Schemes for Upper and Lower Cross Street to encourage the regeneration of these areas.
This will include, planting, paving and removal of overhead wires. (See Town Centre Proposals Map No. 5).


A Pedestrian Priority Area and Environmental Improvement Scheme are proposed for Broadway Square.
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.


Office development at ground floor level will be acceptable in principle at Upper and Lower Cross Street, Dunluce Street, Narrow Gauge Road, Quay Street and Agnew Street.
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.


The Department will accept in principle the development of office accommodation at upper floor level along the primary shopping frontage at Upper Main Street and Main Street.
There is at present 550 sq. m of vacant office space in the commercial core.


The Department will control the extent of non-retail uses, including offices, at ground floor level along the primary shopping frontage at Upper Main Street and Main Street.
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.


The Department will resist applications for changes to the use of residential properties at Quay Street within the Commercial Core.
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.
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