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Nelson McCausland

It's time Northern Ireland Executive took urgent action to save our high streets... before it gets too late

Nelson McCausland


Town centres are under threat from out-of-town shopping and increases in online purchasing

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More high streets, such as Bangor’s, are seeing increasing closures of shops

More high streets, such as Bangor’s, are seeing increasing closures of shops

More high streets, such as Bangor’s, are seeing increasing closures of shops

There has been some controversy about a planning proposal for a major supermarket store on the Doagh Road in Newtownabbey. When it came to the council planning committee earlier this week, the decision was deferred because the Department of Infrastructure had issued an Article 17 direction order to the council to enable the department to consider whether to call in the decision.

However, we do know that the company has promised 250 new full-time and part-time jobs. Now jobs are always welcome, but what consideration is being given to the jobs that will inevitably be lost elsewhere?

Very often with such developments, there is no net gain in employment. It is simply a case of displacement, with a loss of existing jobs in other places, often in smaller, locally owned businesses.