Northern Ireland shopping centre plans to get green light
A planning application to revamp the dormant Carryduff Shopping Centre has been recommended for approval.
Plans were submitted earlier this year and include an extensive refurbishment to the former SuperValu building, three retail units, a restaurant, the retention of two existing units and the construction of 21 new apartments.
Submitted by Paddy Kearney of Kilmona Holdings, the project will breathe new life into the shopping centre which lost its last tenant, Keith Kane hairdressers, in 2016.
Mr Kane said he felt forced to leave the centre where his salon had been based for almost three decades.
At the time a charity coffee shop run by volunteers from three churches occupied a unit.
A previous planning application for the centre to be razed and flats to be built on the site was submitted in 2007 and approved in 2012, but was never progressed.
Built in the 1980s, Carryduff Shopping Centre struggled from a drop in footfall after which, in 2013, its anchor store SuperValu left.
The approval recommendation has been welcomed by councillors in the area. DUP MLA Christopher Stalford said: "This site is of interest for the local people of Carryduff and is essential to the rejuvenation of the town centre.
"We know that this site is the location that will provide new jobs for the Carryduff area."
And DUP councillor Nathan Anderson said he hoped to see immediate work on the site: "We welcome this approval and hope that building on this site will occur as soon as possible. We all want to see regeneration in Carryduff; local people want to see the heart restored into the town. This new development will hopefully attract further investment and increased footfall."
DUP councillor Vasundhara Kamble added: "As someone who used to shop in the centre regularly, it has been very disappointing to see what has become of the site. We all want to see the area improved and the economic hub restored."
Independent councillor Geraldine Rice said: "Local residents have been eagerly waiting information regarding the site; today we have an answer. This news will be a relief to many local people."