A vacant retail unit in Newry, which has fallen into a state of disrepair, could be refurbished and restored as a new Subway takeaway and restaurant.
And the property in question sits next door to another business which also specialises healthy foods and sandwiches, among other things – Deli Lites Gourmet Kitchen.
Proposals for the change of use to a “fast food restaurant and takeaway” have been submitted to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for consideration.
While the ground floor – previously a ladies clothing store – would be converted to make way for Subway, the upper floor would be changed into a three-bedroom house of multiple occupancy.
It will, that is, if councillors on the planning committee give their backing to the proposals.
The new Subway would be located on the same side of the street but further down from an existing outlet at 12A Monaghan Street. There are also additional Subway outlets at both the Quays and Buttercrane shopping centres.
According to a design and access statement, the proposed new outlet is in premises which are currently vacant and in “a poor state of repair”. The area is “surrounded by an eclectic mix of uses, including retail/office spaces, financial services, residential apartments and public car parks”.
Internal alterations will be required but, in terms of the outward appearance, the statement adds: “The external facade of the building will be refurbished and brought back to life.
“A range of locally sourced materials will be incorporated into the design of the development which are sympathetic to the character of the surrounding area. The materials used will match the existing building to ensure it is not a prominent feature and will blend seamlessly with the townscape.
“The design and internal layout of existing food outlets in the surrounding city centre have been used to inform the design of this proposal.”
The interior will provide a “relaxing and comfortable dining experience for customers”, with a large servery to one side for both sit-in and takeaway orders. There will be toilet provision with disabled access too.
A “high quality” three bedroom house of multiple occupancy at first floor level, the statement says, will “provide much-needed living accommodation for the local area”.
It adds that the area is “very well served by public transport”, while on-street car parking and public car parks are “sufficient to meet the requirements of this mixed-use development proposal”.
The statement, arguing that the proposals should be approved, says that restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets are “indispensable features of modern life”.
And it adds: “Hot food outlets complement the primary shopping function of town and city centres. The provision of a fast food restaurant and takeaway will help to provide a variety that can contribute to the vitality and viability of Newry city centre.”