Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) have urged councillors to ‘stand up for their town centre’ and support the DOE recommendation to refuse planning permission for an out of town hypermarket.
It was the Green Pastures group submitted the application that was recommended for refusal by the Planning Service.
The President of Ballymena Chamber Alan Stewart and NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “Both our organisations would urge Ballymena Councillors to stand up for their town centre and to support the recommendations of the Planning Service to refuse the proposed Green Pastures out of town hypermarket.”
“This proposed out of town hypermarket is a major threat to the viability of Ballymena Town Centre and will displace and destroy jobs from existing retailers. It take millions of pounds out of the town centre economy and radically reduce footfall”
“We want to see a strong town centre first approach to major retail applications.”
“Out of town stores belong in the past and the future is about a 21st Century Ballymena Town Centre, which has a dynamic and varied retail sector alongside a vibrant restaurants, bars and cafes which offers something different to shoppers”
“In recent years Ballymena Town Centre has made solid progress and we believe this application will put at risk future investment and threaten the proposed BIDS scheme.”
“We hope that Ballymena Council, which has worked hard to support its town centre in the past, will vote to support its future”