Belfast Telegraph

Supermarket jobs boost for North Down welcomed

By Brian Lovett

Local representatives have welcomed news that 350 jobs will be created at a new supermarket in North Down.

The major Sainsbury's store is to be built in Balloo Retail Park near Bangor.

North Down MLA Peter Weir said the new store would provide a “significant boost” to the local economy.

“I am delighted by the announcement by Environment Minister Edwin Poots of the approval of planning permission for the proposed new Sainsbury’s in Balloo Retail Park.

“This is a significant boost to the local economy and is particularly important at this time of economic recession.

“I believe that this development will be complementary to the existing retail mix within Bangor and will play an important role in helping to retain spend within the North Down area, as well as bringing in additional customers from the surrounding area.

“This decision will be welcomed throughout North Down by prospective employees and customers alike.”

North Down MLA Alex Easton said he was “absolutely delighted” about the news. “It’s a really good news story for Bangor, especially considering the current economic climate. I’m extremely pleased,” he said.

“And it’ll boost local businesses in Bangor — it’s a win-win.”

The Mayor of North Down, Councillor Tony Hill, added: “I certainly welcome the new business and the new jobs into the borough.”

Environment Minister Edwin Poots said: “This approval will see the development of a new modern store and will be a welcome boost in terms of job creation with approximately 350 full and part time jobs.”

The application includes partial demolition of an existing building, two warehouses and a new store.

Chris Templeman, head of property development at Sainsbury's, said: “We are delighted with the department's decision to grant planning permission for this proposal.

“The Bangor development represents a multi-million pound investment which includes the provision of a new Sainsbury's store and a refurbished Homebase.

“Throughout the application process we took part in a comprehensive dialogue with Planning Service. We are grateful for the department's positive engagement which has helped the application to progress to this stage.

“This development is great news for the local economy in terms of job creation and an additional Sainsbury's store means increased business for our local suppliers.”

However, an organisation which represents independent retailers has warned that the green light for another out-of-town superstore would ultimately cost more jobs than it would create.

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, said the association did not lodge an objection to the Sainsbury's in Bangor.

But he said: “Bangor town centre needs new retailers and the opening of another out-of-town retailer will put further pressure on the retailers.”

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