Major changes could be on the way in Armagh city centre with plans for a “significant investment” at Ogle Street, Armagh I can exclusively reveal.
An extension to the Armagh Shopping Centre, a new retail unit being built at Ogle Street and even a walled garden have been proposed.
Luxury maisonette accommodation features too in ambitious plans that would regenerate a vacant site at the lower end of the street.
It is intended to extend the Armagh Shopping Centre by over 200 sq metres. This would take in the land to the rear of C K Rafferty Solicitors and Cathy’s Beauty Salon.
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And a new shop would be built to replace the vacant premises between the Beauty Salon and the late Danny McShane’s bicycle shop.
Approval is also being sought for the removal of a partially collapsed roof to an outbuilding to allow for the construction of what has been described as a “significant walled garden area” on site.
In all three planning applications relating to this site have been submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for consideration.
These are due to be publicly advertised this week.
Applications have been submitted in the name of the Armagh City Shopping Centre, with Armagh Design the appointed agent.
A desgin concept statement presented to planners reveals the objective is to “address the poorly maintained buildings with the aim of successfully regenerating this significant site”.
It is described as an “unrepeatable opportunity” to “address the shortcomings that this gap site causes to the Conservation Area and in particular to this section of Ogle Street”.
As it is a Conservation Area – and in keeping with surrounding properties – the proposal would “replicate the existing building which once existed”.
A two-bedroom luxury maisonette would be built above the shop. The shop would be occupied by an independent business. It would be acccessed from Ogle Street, but the service entrance for this new retail unit and access to the maisonette would be from the existing right of way which runs from the car park to the rear of Ogle Street.
According to the design statement, plans represent a “significant investment” in the site.
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A further three-storey “vernacular property on site” would require significant inward investable and the agent points out that it is not feasible to bring it back into productive use at this time, although there are future proposals and ‘concept plans’ to convert it into apartments.
The agent, in his statement, says in the context of the commercial core of Ogle Street and Thomas Street, the redevelopment of this site would be “critical within this prominent area”.
And it would be hoped it would “represent the beginning of the revitalisation of Ogle Street”.
All three applications will be considered over the coming months with a decision expected later in the New Year.