Much interest in developing Ann Street

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

DOZENS of expressions of interest in developing Dungannon's Ann Street have been lodged with Mid-Ulster Council.
The appeal for expressions of interest in the site closes this Friday, 12th May.
And it has been confirmed there has already been over 30 approaches from parties interested in developing the site.
This was confirmed to the Council at a meeting of its Development Committee.
The site has lain vacant for decades after first being bought in the 1980s by Dunnes Stores.
However, the anticipated Dunnes superstore never materialised and the site, which had been cleared of houses previously situated there, lay unoccupied for decades.
It was eventually sold in June 2005 to a Northern Ireland based developer for more than 3 million.
However, plans to develop the site into a sizeable retail complex fell foul of the property crash and the site continued to fall into even greater disuse.
The former Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council eventually purchased the site in 2014 and is now prepared to sell up again.
The 4.12 acre site is being marketed as a "unique gateway site" in the town and "provides an exciting opportunity to deliver a high quality, imaginative and sustainable mixed use development, ideally with retail, commercial, office, leisure and residential uses".
Dungannon Ulster Unionist Councillor Walter Cuddy has stressed the importance of the Council making the correct decision on how to develop the site.
He said: "This is Dungannon's last chance of being a significant market town.
"If it's a commercial complex not linked to Market Square, Scotch Street and Irish Street, it might as well be in the Linen Green.
"I'm not surprised there has been a lot of interest. It is prime commercial ground in a growing town and it's a really good location with a good road network.
"It's our chance of getting Dungannon up into the Premiership so to speak, as opposed to sitting mid-table in the Championship."
Fellow Dungannon Councillor Dominic Molloy of Sinn Fein is hopeful the level of interest in the site could lead to developers eyeing up other sites in addition to Ann Street.
He said: "It's a good indication of the level of interest and potential there.
"Hopefully we can get other sites freed up and developed in the town and that might feed off this, where if a developer missed out in Ann Street they might like at another site in the town."
Cllr Molloy has also echoed Cllr Cuddy's call for the rest of the town to be incorporated in as part of the wider vision surrounding the development of Ann Street.
He told the Courier: "I would like to see the development complement the rest of the town and I am hopeful any development there will aid the progression of the entire town."


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