Lurgan looks to be in line for a jobs boost with a former vacant shopping centre to be restored and re-opened – with a new tenant lined up!
It is now the best part of two decades years since the closure of the Castle Lane retailer outlet.
The premises have been described as “dilapidated” in a new planning application to emerge this week.
GSDL Ltd, based at Finaghy, has outlined proposals to transform the property for a major new ‘non-food retail superstore’.
It would, if given the go-ahead, create around 20 new jobs.
The plans, now with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, would see a new store open, boasting floorspace in excess of 16,000 sq ft, together with a service yard. The existing unit would be reduced from its current size to facilitate the latter.
While the new shop would benefit from parking already available on site, a total of 40 spaces directly allocated for this latest Lurgan retailer.
The application is for the “renovation of the existing retail unit and associated car parking”.
While no intended tenants have been outlined at this stage, a transport assessment form – which is used to give an indication of vehicle numbers – makes comparisons with a number of retailers at similar developments.
And those used for these comparisons are Pets at Home, Just for Pets, office and stationery supplier Staples, kitchen showroom Magnet, as well as household favourite Dunelm Mill.
According to the transport assessment form, access to the development will be via the existing 175 space public car
park at Castle Lane.
It adds: “Servicing will be via a new service yard to the rear of the site from Windsor Avenue, similar to the present servicing arrangements. Pedestrian access is also proposed from Windsor Avenue.”
A preliminary risk assessment reveals the old retail development, due to be transformed, was built in 1986.
But now, in its current form, it adds: “The site comprises a vacant shopping centre which is currently in a dilapidated state.
“It is understood to have been vacant for around 15 years. In total there are two buildings shown on site, one being a large irregular shaped building of the vacant shopping centre. A smaller rectangular shaped building is present in the southern corner of site.
“The site is situated in a predominantly commercial setting with numerous shops such as B&M Store, Sports Direct Store and Iceland Supermarket in the nearby vicinity which share a large car park accessed from Castle Lane to the west of site.”