18/12/2009

Developer Announced For Bangor Project

Northern Ireland Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie was in Bangor this week to announce Karl Greenfarm Properties as the preferred developer for the regeneration of the town's Queen's Parade.

"For too long the heart of the town around Queen’s Parade has been lying empty, and it is no surprise to have been recently voted Northern Ireland’s number one worst eyesore," said the Minister.

"Bangor was once regarded as Northern Ireland's number one resort and I believe the plans for Marine Gardens, along with the masterplan and transport plans, will put Bangor back where it belongs as a unique and vibrant coastal town.

"Today I welcome the appointment of Karl Greenfarm Properties Limited as the department's preferred developer to take forward the ambitious regeneration of the Queen’s Parade area.

"This development offers a unique opportunity to reinvigorate Bangor town centre by creating a new mixed retail, office, leisure and residential development."

Around 1000 jobs are expected to be created during construction, with an additional 750 permanent jobs on offer when the development is complete.

The proposed scheme includes plans to enhance the public realm and civic uses of the waterfront area by creating a promenade, an outdoor performance space, public parks and tourist facilities.

The plans will also reinforce links between High Street and Main Street in the town and enhance the current infrastructure with the creation of a new pedestrian street and up to 750 parking spaces.

Minister Ritchie continued: "It is clear from the public consultation process that the local community, business community and elected representatives are passionate about their town and want to ensure the area is properly developed. Whilst respecting Bangor’s Victorian and Edwardian past we must also look to its future regeneration potential. My officials will put in place mechanisms to continue to involve the local community in this development process."

Aran Blackbourne, Director of Karl Greenfarm Properties, added: "We believe Marine Gardens will bring the sort of regeneration project that Bangor town centre deserves.

"Our proposals present a fantastic opportunity to enhance and repair the waterfront and integrate the area more coherently within the town centre, and we are delighted that these plans have taken a step forward with today's announcement that Karl Greenfarm has been selected as preferred developer.

"We look forward to working with DSD, the council and other stakeholders in preparation for the submission of a planning application next year."

(NS/KMcA)

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