Blueprint revealed that could 'put heart back into Carryduff'
Owner puts plans on display to transform struggling shopping centre
Plans for a new shopping complex that could "put the heart back into Carryduff" are being launched this week.
The Co Down town's shopping centre - one of the oldest in Northern Ireland - has been in decline in recent years and was left with just one business, hairdresser Keith Kane, which has since left.
Now new plans are on show from owner Causeway Asset Management - a company directed by property developer Paddy Kearney.
The new complex would include nine retail units - one of which is to be a supermarket - as well as 28 private apartments and car parking.
The plans are being exhibited today in Carryduff's Lough Moss Leisure Centre, ahead of a 12- week consultation.
Roisin Donnelly from the Carryduff Regeneration Forum said it was an opportunity for the town to be redeveloped.
"The general feeling is that this is a step in the right direction, but that there needs to be more retail space," she added.
"This is the only opportunity for Carryduff to get additional businesses and retail units within the centre of the town.
"We would also like to see some sort of public square within the plans, somewhere community groups could hold events. This really is an opportunity to change the face of Carryduff."
DUP Lisburn and Castlereagh City councillor Nathan Anderson said he hoped the plans would "put the heart back into Carryduff". Mr Anderson added: "I would encourage everybody living in the area to fully participate in the consultation process if they can.
"As long as the people are happy and we have a situation where there is sufficient retail and enough services for the people of Carryduff, it will be a good thing for the area.
"The proposals are a good place to start and, hopefully, after the consultation process we will have a planning application that everybody will buy into."
The centre hit turbulent times in 2013 when its anchor tenant SuperValu moved out as a result of reduced footfall.
As customer numbers continued to dwindle, the remaining shops also began to close.
A planning application was submitted in July to demolish the centre.
A previous planning application for the centre to be razed and flats to be built on its site was submitted in 2007 and approved in 2012.
However, the development never progressed as the property downturn took hold.
Some businesses remain along the centre's exterior units, including Winemark and a chip shop. However, part of the shopping centre's roof has already been removed.
In February this year, Keith Kane - one of Northern Ireland's top hairdressers - said the gradual decline of the centre left him feeling forced to leave the site where his salon had been based for almost three decades.
Mr Kane added: "Before it was mainly independent traders and that was the nice thing about it, but they've all gone now."
He later to moved his business to the Cyril Johnston Complex at Woodlawn.