Planning Portal

PPS 5: Retailing and Town Centres
Planning for Retail Developments: Regional Shopping Centres

35. Northern Ireland is a comparatively small region with a population of 1.6 million and a settlement pattern of a number of towns and villages scattered throughout its countryside. Belfast City Centre Opens link in a new browser window performs an important role in servicing a regional shopping requirement, while retailing in the City Centre of Londonderry Opens link in a new browser window serves the north-west region. Northern Ireland has one purpose-built, out-of-town regional shopping centre at Sprucefield. This occupies a unique geographical location and serves a wide catchment area. In view of the nature, size and distribution of Northern Ireland's towns and the role of existing regional centres the Department considers that there is no justifiable need for any new regional out-of-town shopping centres in Northern Ireland. The Department will also continue to control the scale and nature of Sprucefield Centre Opens link in a new browser window taking into account all the relevant policies in this Planning Policy Statement and in particular the impact, of any proposed development at Sprucefield, on the environment generally; existing centres and traffic.
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