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    Henderson Group plans £4m extension to Eurospar Glenwell

    Eurospar site proposal (Photo via LDRS)

    By: Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

    A proposed £4m extension to a Eurospar store in Glengormley by Henderson Group was given the go-ahead at a meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Monday.

    As well as the extension of the retail unit at Antrim Road with additional forecourt parking and new landscaped area, the proposal includes the partial demolition of the adjacent Tramways Shopping Centre, the committee has been told.

    A report to the committee said: “The application site is located at 290 Antrim Road, Glengormley and comprises an existing petrol filling station, convenience shop (Eurospar) and part of an existing shopping centre (Tramways).

    “The proposal seeks to demolish part of the Tramways Centre and extend the retail and hot food preparation area of the existing Eurospar.

    “The partial demolition of the Tramways Centre involves one of the two blocks, the one to be demolished comprises seven units consisting of a casino and games arcade, food retail units, a gym, a clothes shop and café. The demolition also relates to the existing entrance and archway associated with Tramways.”

    Previously, Henderson Group said plans have been submitted to Antrim and Newtownabbey Council proposing an extension to the Henderson Retail operated Eurospar Glenwell after the acquisition of the Tramways Shopping Centre.

    Henderson Group plans £4m extension to Eurospar Glenwell
    Tramways Shopping Centre, Glengormley (Photo via LDRS)

    Planning officer Ashleigh Wilson said there have been two letters of objection. Issues raised included potential impact on existing retail stores, lack of linkage to Tramways, demolition of the existing archway and being out of character with the local area.

    Mark Adrain, Henderson Group property director, said Henderson’s is a long-standing business owner in the borough with shops throughout the borough.

    “We want to reassure the committee, the group will undertake this work in a constructive manner.”  He stressed the company does not intend to “cause any concern or hardship” for anyone. “It is people’s livelihoods we are dealing with,” he added.

    Glengormley DUP councillor Alison Bennington asked how many times the company has consulted with tenants.

    He replied: “Multiple times. We have met with them at least twice. Sometimes they have not responded. We will try to work with them to see what we can do,” he added.

    Committee chair Macedon Ulster Unionist Cllr Robert Foster commented: “Approximately doubling the size of the unit, you would imagine a considerable increase in footfall.”

    Cllr Foster asked what consideration had been given to access and egress of the outlet noting a fatality and near-misses at a pedestrian crossing nearby.

    Mr Adrain said the company is “very concerned about any local issues in the area”. He underlined the importance of ensuring any development is “safe and fit for purpose”.

    Cllr Foster asked for signage in the area to be kept clear from obstruction. Mr Adrain replied that the company would “comply with any regulations”.

    Henderson Group plans £4m extension to Eurospar Glenwell
    Eurospar Glenwell on Antrim Rd, Glengormley (Photo: Google Maps)

    Planning agent David Mountstephen said the application, which was submitted last summer, has been “subject to a robust assessment”.

    He went on to say the proposal represents a £4m investment by the Henderson group, which he indicated, will “connect and integrate the Glenwell and Tramways sites while improving access between sites and enhance public realm space”.

    He also indicated it will “improve visual impact with an attractive frontage” and would provide “economic benefits in terms of jobs, salaries and rates”.

    Barry Diamond, the council’s head of planning, told the committee in terms of the Belfast Urban Plan, Glengormley is “not a town centre” and is “just part of the metropolitan area”.

    “It is not identified as a retail centre within the Belfast Urban Area,” he added. He pointed out that it “looks like a town centre” and “effectively operates as a town centre”.

    Deputy Mayor Glengormley Sinn Fein Cllr Rosie Kinnear proposed accepting the recommendation to approve the application, seconded by Threemilewater Ulster Unionist Cllr Stephen Cosgrove.

    Following a vote, planning permission was granted unanimously.

    (Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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