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The Range plan to open massive 50,000 sq ft store could create up to 80 new jobs for borough

An initial 'notice of application' has indicated the company's intent to open its second store in the borough at Bridgewater Retail Park in Banbridge

Retail giant The Range has set its sights on opening its latest Northern Ireland outlet at Banbridge.

A detailed planning application for the proposed store – which could create up to 80 new jobs – is expected to be submitted shortly.

But given the nature and size of the proposed development – to be located at the Bridgewater Retail Park – the company has submitted a ‘proposal of application’ notice.

The massive new store would stretch to close to 50,000 sq feet and located to the north-west of the existing Tesco store.

It would make it one of the biggest outlets by The Range in Northern Ireland.

The plans would fall into the ‘major application’ category and this notice of intent has now been relayed to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The property is described as a “retail warehouse store”. Also included is a garden centre, with sprinkler tanks and pump house.

If permitted, it would be the second store operated by The Range within the borough. The retailer opened a major unit at the Meadows Shopping Centre in Portadown back in 2018, essentially taking over the mantle of ‘anchor tenant’ there.

The notice has been lodged by The Range’s parent company, CDS (Superstores International) Ltd, named after founder Chris Dawson, an open air market trader who opened the first store in his home town of Plymouth in 1989.

The submission of a notice to ABC Council this week means that the applicant will now have to follow-up with a full application.

But it is restricted from doing so for at least 12 weeks, meaning that it will be late November at the earliest before proposals – which must be accompanied by a pre-application consultation report – can be lodged.

It is therefore highly likely that it will be well into 2021 before there is any movement in relation to considering proposals in-depth.

If approved, The Range, Banbridge, would join a growing list with others located in Ballymena, Connswater in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Derry/Londonderry, and more expected to follow.

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