Planners say yes to £40m retail park centre


Planners have approved a £40 million sterling retail park and shopping centre proposed for Church Road, Newtownabbey. The application for the scheme by the Stannifer Group, which has been behind a number of the North's major out-oftown developments, has been with the Belfast Planning Department since March 1997. The scheme, on a 22-acre site near the Abbey Shopping Centre, is to include a supermarket, bank, restaurant, off-licence and major non-food retail warehousing elements. Commercial Information Company reports that the planners are set to give the scheme their approval. "Notice for approval has been issued and we await official confirmation of the award," CIC says in its latest weekly report on building projects in the North.

The development is expected to have around 200,000 sq ft of retail space and Tesco and Homebase have already signed up for the scheme. CIC says construction is likely to begin this year and will include a £2.5 million investment in the road network.