A planning application to build an out-of-town superstore near Ballynahinch has been refused by Environment Minister Alex Attwood.
The application proposed the redevelopment of an out-of-town centre involving the demolition of existing buildings and the erection of a 3,175sqm food superstore at Belfast Road.
“After careful consideration and interrogation of all of the issues, I have decided to refuse this application,” Mr Attwood said.
“The retail impact of this proposal would be too great on the long-term future of Ballynahinch town centre, which is critical to the health and vitality of the town as a whole.
“It is clearly contrary to planning policy statement 5 (retailing and town centres) and is therefore unacceptable,” he said.
Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association spokesman Glyn Roberts said he welcomed the decision.