11/12/2009

Alderman Backs Tesco's Development

The announcement of a major multi-million pound shopping centre redevelopment in Co Antrim has been warmly welcomed by a local politician.

The Chairman of the Newtownabbey Council's Planning Committee, Alderman Nigel Hamilton, (pictured here), said the demolition and rebuilding of Glengormley's run-down Northcott Shopping Centre as Sandyknowes Shopping Complex promises to offer opportunity during a very difficult period in the economy.

He said this, and the prospect for economic stability and employment, can only be welcomed both for the construction and retail sectors.

"The decision by the Minister to approve the redevelopment of Northcott will have a major impact upon the employment opportunities of the Borough and potentially for local jobs within the catchment of Glengormley."

He said that, having worked closely with the companies concerned - Taggarts and BTW Sheills - in the run up to the decision, a considerable amount of preliminary work and consultation has taken place.

He said this "ensured concerns expressed by some residents were addressed and a high degree of co-operation satisfied the resolution of issues raised on their behalf".

The DUP politician continued: "This offers the Northcott site a new identity and image and a revitalisation which will enable stable growth in this important retail sector.
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"I also would like to acknowledge the importance of this approval for the new Sandyknowes Shopping Complex as a integral facet of the Department of Social Development's masterplan for Glengormley - recently launched by Minister Ritchie," he concluded.

NI Environment Minister, Edwin Poots granted the £35million regeneration plan earlier this week and said: "The proposal represents a high quality modern development for the area, replacing the current centre which, although of its time, is now somewhat run down and in need of redress."

Tesco, currently the anchor tenant in Northcott, will increase roughly double in size, creating up to 200 new high quality, full and part-time jobs for the area.

These workers will join the 170 employees currently working in the store, bringing the number of people employed by Tesco across Newtownabbey Borough Council area to more than 750.

There will also be around 250 positions for construction workers during the build programme as well.

The proposal involves the demolition of the existing centre with the erection of a new shopping centre with surface car parking to accommodate 840 cars. It will include a Tesco Store along side 12 open class retail units, a Tesco café and a petrol filling station.

See: Tesco's Northcott Plan Approved

(BMcc/GK)

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