Plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment project for Bangor have been presented at a closed meeting of North Down Borough Council.
The £120million regeneration of Queen’s Parade on the Bangor seafront will include a major shopping centre, a hotel and a multi-use arts and community facility as well as apartments and offices.
The proposals were brought before the council on Thursday, May 14, and a decision will be made on whether to approve the plans at the end of this month.
The plans are being proposed by Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie and private developers Karl Greenfarm Properties Ltd.
Minister Ritchie said: “This new mixed retail, office, leisure and residential development is a welcome boost for the people of Bangor.
“It will transform this historic yet underdeveloped area of the town and bring it back into a competitive urban area that will attract a great number of visitors in the future.”
The minister acknowledged people living in or around the proposed area of development would have to be fully consulted.
Stephen Deyermond of Karl Greenfarm Properties Limited said: “The new contemporary Marine Gardens development will re-instate the connection with the waterfront and the Marina, it will provide new public spaces, multi-use community facility and will be anchored by a retail-led
mixed use destination of truly international standard, but will be of a scale appropriate to Bangor and deliverable even in these challenging market conditions.”
Peter Weir, MLA for North Down, welcomed the proposals. He said: “I welcome what appears to be a positive step forward for this area. There has been a lot of frustration among residents and this has been shared by the council.
“Things are often tied-up with red tape in government circles and it will bring a level of relief that action will be taken there.”
Minister Ritchie said: “I am aware of previous proposals that have not come to fruition.
“Nevertheless, in today’s challenging economic climate it is very encouraging that a private developer is prepared to commit to investing over £120 million in Bangor.
“This investment will generate much needed construction jobs and, when completed, new jobs in the retail and commercial sector.”
Mr Weir added: “I will wait to see the full details of the proposals, but in terms of what has been said publicly by the minister it is a positive step forward.”