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Major £850,000 town centre development given red card by planners

The proposal was for a mixed-use development in Portadown town centre

A major Co Armagh town centre development has been given the red card by council planners.

The dual-use complex in the centre of Portadown – estimated at a cost close to £850,000 – was rejected by planners this week.

The entire project would have seen the demolition of a number of existing properties and commercial units on Shillington Street, close to the Magowan West shopping complex.

The main occupant is Furniture Land with other occupants including a hair salon, a printing works, Portadown Gas and offices for a development company.

The site is a mixed-use area with adjacent bingo hall, snooker club and carpet showroom.

The original application, submitted by B K Properties, stated that “the site is a brownfield site and as such redevelopment should be encouraged”.

The proposal was for the demolition of the existing properties to “redevelop the site with mixed use for both retail and residential uses”.

It was anticipated that the existing tenants would occupy some of the proposed retail space.

The plans also included 45 two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors with a residents’ gym located at the ground floor level and accessed from the central lobby. The apartments would be housed over five floors.

A communal roof terrace at the first-floor level to provide extra space for potential residents was also included. This was to have been supplemented by the provision of balconies in each apartment.

Consideration had also been given to car parking for the apartments and retail staff.

Planners found that there would be “satisfactory access and parking arrangements” in place to service the needs of the new development.

But they still returned a recommendation that it should not go ahead.

Citing four reasons, they concluded, the proposal had not demonstrated, among other things, that there would be “no adverse impact” on Portadown town centre or upon a “number of listed buildings which are sited in proximity” to the intended location.

However, despite the rejection, the applicant has the right of appeal on this decision.

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