Plans to redevelop Doury Road supermarket in Ballymena

The Doury Road outlet. Picture: Google Maps.

A PLANNING application has been made for a redevelopment of a supermarket at the Doury Road in Ballymena.

The application, published this week, reads: ‘Demolition of existing dwelling, retail unit, filling station and other buildings. Development of one number retail unit and two number hot food units, bulk fuel, jet wash and bin store. New petrol pumps and canopy, retention of existing underground tanks’.

The scheme is part of plans by Northern Ireland retail and wholesale giant Henderson Group as part of an overall investment of £26 million.

The new plans for stores in Ballymena, Tandragee and Doagh, bring to nine the number of retail projects the Mallusk-based group has submitted to planning officials here to date in 2019, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The Henderson Group said it has opened 19 new outlets across Northern Ireland in the past year, with plans to match that figure in the coming 12 months.

It already has planning permission for six new builds, with applications for 14 store upgrades currently being processed. A shop is due to open on Sunnyside Street off Belfast’s Ormeau Road this month.

The group behind the Spar, Eurospar and Vivo brands now provides its distribution advisory and marketing service to more than 400 grocery stores around the province. That number is steadily growing.

A report from commercial property consultancy firm Lambert Smith Hampton revealed that the Henderson Group acquired a portfolio of petrol stations from receivers for £7.6m in the first three months of 2019. It ranked as Northern Ireland’s third biggest commercial property deal for the first quarter.

The retail and wholesale business submitted planning applications to demolish and redevelop petrol station retail stores on the Doury Road in Ballymena and Station Road in Doagh.

The group is also planning a major upgrade of the Spar store on Mill Street in Tandragee.

Other applications submitted so far in 2019 relate to stores in Carrickfergus, Glengormley, Portaferry, Larne and Newtownards.

Henderson property director Mark Adrain confirmed that the group’s retail arm has planning permission for six new builds, and that bids to extend and upgrade stores are in the planning process for another 14 locations.

“They include nine new builds from Rossdowney in the North West to Portaferry on the Ards Peninsula, with an investment of almost £17m, including Spar Sunnyside Street, Belfast, which opens later this month.

“Furthermore, we have applications in to push an extra £9m into refurbishments and extensions of some of our landmark Spar and Eurospars, including Eurospar Wallace Village, Lisburn,” he said.

“With this continued investment, we’re able to provide local employment opportunities and serve the needs of local communities with enhanced shopper experiences, thanks to innovative in-store services and facilities.”

The last accounts filed by the retail and wholesale group reported pre-tax profits of £20million.

The report, which includes a number of subsidiary divisions, put the company’s workforce at 3,387, with a pay bill of £65.3million.

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