The Bridgewater Retail Park in Banbridge is in a line for a huge new multi-million pound development with plans for new shops, a garden centre and no less than three drive-thru and coffee shops.
The site – adjacent to the Boulevard on the Cascum Link – is anchored by a 70,000 sq ft Tesco Xtra store.
Currently, if boasts around 90,000 sq ft of retail space.
But if forthcoming plans are approved, it will almost double in size, as these fresh proposals would add over 75,000 sq ft to the retail park.
It is also expected that hundreds of jobs would be created, first during construction and upon completion when all of the new units are up and running.
It is early days and the applicant – Co Tyrone-based Gortalowry Developments – is engaged in talks with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
It has submitted a pre-application notice and will use feedback from community engagement to shape firm proposals before seeking full approval.
Given the scale of the plans, an environmental impact assessment may also be required.
Little has been detailed at this stage of intended tenants.
The proposals centre on lands adjacent to the Marks & Spencer store. It also includes the current park and ride facility for the Game of Thrones attraction, which would have to be relocated.
The intention is to build four new stores for the sale of “convenience and bulky comparison goods”. Each would boast floorspace of close to 11,000 sq ft.
An 8,000 sq ft garden centre is also in the pipeline.
And three new drive-thru/coffee shops units are also being proposed.
One of these – for a new Tim Horton’s outlet – is currently going through the planning process.
These three are in addition to the new Starbucks outlet recently approved close to the Go filling station.
The developer also hopes to make use of lands to the rear of the Tesco filling station, located at the roundabout to the entrance of the site. It is intended to build a new industrial unit – close to 18,000 sq ft – at this location.
Neighbouring units are being notified of the ambitious plans which will require amendments to the overall site.
A full application will be brought forward for consideration when details of consultation exchanges are considered and used to finalise the proposals.