Queen Parade Development
Bangor Marine Secures £9.8m from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund
20th January 2023
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of International Trade, Andrew Bowie, today visited the City of Bangor to congratulate Bangor Marine on securing £9.8M from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The funding will be used to deliver the Marine Gardens element of the wider £50M redevelopment of Queen’s Parade in the City.
Aran Blackbourne of Bangor Marine met with the Minister and outlined the company’s plans for a mixed-use development on the site, including new homes, a hotel, events space, public realm, cafes and restaurants.
Commenting on the funding, Mr Blackbourne said:
“The City of Bangor has received a very positive boost from the UK Government Levelling Up Fund, and we welcome the news that £9.8m has been ringfenced for Bangor Marine to deliver the Marine Gardens as part of our Queen’s Parade regeneration project.
“Public realm space has a critical part to play in the success of all towns and cities, providing a setting for community life, enhancing cohesiveness and adding to the welcoming vibrancy of a destination. We have always said that we want to create a place for the people of Bangor to feel proud of. Marine Gardens has a very important role to play in this aspiration and we look forward to bringing this to reality.”
The Department for Communities and Ards and North Down Borough Council are partners with Bangor Marine in the delivery of the Queen’s Parade scheme.
The Minister’s visit took place at Bangor Court House, which has recently been restored by Open House into a music and arts venue that provides a permanent home for the charity. It overlooks the part of Bangor that will be transformed with the Levelling Up Funding.
This funding news comes in the same week that Ards and North Down Borough Council revealed it has been awarded £40 million of funding for the Bangor Waterfront Development as part of the Belfast Region City Deal. Bangor Waterfront is a complementary investment to the Queen’s Parade plans, which will see the redevelopment of a two-mile stretch of coastline from Skippingstone Beach to Ballyholme, with the aim of delivering a significant boost to tourism and encouraging further investment.
The long-awaited "Green Form" has been Issued
Follow the link below to read the decision notice
COUNCIL APPROVES QUEENS PARADE DEVELOPMENT …again!
JUNE 2022 - The Developers (Bangor Marine) submit a Revised Construction Schedule
QUEENS PARADE GETS GO-AHEAD AS DFI MINISTER RETURNS THE APPLICATION TO THE COUNCIL
The Queens Parade Story to date, as of 20/02/22.
County Down Spectator Article - QUEENS PARADE LIMBO
It is understood that the Councils Planning Committee is to meet on Tuesday the 18th of January to discuss the proposed Reservoir Safety legislation. Their objective is to deliver a response to the Department of Infrastructure's consultation process.
The meeting will take place just three working days before the end of the consultation process allowing no time for the committee to bring their response to a full council meeting. They have however been given the authority to deliver their response to the DFI on behalf of the entire council.
There are a number of questions that arise from this briefing.
Why did they leave their engagement with the consultation process until the eleventh hour?
The Clandeboye lake issue was raised many months ago. Did any of our elected representatives, either individually or collectively directly engage with the DFI Minister or the DFC Minister (who is the project lead) to petition against “worst case scenario” modelling?
What is the objective of this meeting and how do the committee members envisage their response (to the consultation exercise) will break the current deadlock?
If the Reservoir Safety Legislation does not currently apply to Northern Ireland why do the planners not operate solely within the boundaries of current NI legislation?
There is also the issue of our locally elected representatives (at all levels) not taking any responsibility for the failures thus far.
Local social media pages repeatedly see councillors shift their responsibility and blame to the Department for Communities. The fact is, the Council are project partners with the DFC and the developers “Bangor Marine” so it is incumbent on them, particularly as the local authority to use their power and influence to best effect. Meanwhile the lack of progress would suggest that they have been sitting on their hands.
As already mentioned, the Queens Parade project is a joint enterprise but where our local Council should be taking the lead is in communication, as they are closest to the people most invested in the scheme. But, yet again the Councils performance has been shockingly poor.
We (the public) have two main go-to platforms for information. There is the DFC webpage which is:-
or the Councils page:-
Please note the contradictory statements:
“A number of properties were acquired through a Vesting Order in January 2017, which completed the Departments acquisition of all the required land and property to take forward the scheme.”
The Queen’s Parade area of Bangor has been largely derelict for almost 20 years and its regeneration has been a priority for the Department for Communities, which owns most of the site.
“Council awaits DfI Planning’s determination, and in the meantime continues to work alongside the developer, Bangor Marine, and the Department for Communities, who currently own the majority of the site, to progress the scheme.”
So, what is the current state of affairs, do the DFC own all the required land and property?
Oversight & Governance
I refer again to the DFC webpage.
It states that:-
“A Project Board, comprising representatives from the Department, Ards & North Down Borough Council, Strategic Investment Board, Land & Property Services and the developer, has been established to oversee the governance and delivery of the Development Scheme, ensuring compliance with the conditions and timescales set within the Development Agreement.
This Board will meet regularly throughout the duration of the project.”
How many times has the project board met thus far?
When did the Project Board last convene?
The DFC Page also states:-
“Work is ongoing between the Department for Communities, the Ards and North Down Borough Council, and the developer, Bangor Marine, to develop a joint communications and stakeholder engagement plan, to inform the local community of progress as we enter the next phases of the Queen’s Parade Development. Part of this work involves Bangor Marine developing a website where updates will be publicised.”
Has the joint communications and stakeholder engagement plan been established?
How many times has joint communications and stakeholder engagement plan met thus far?
When did the joint communications and stakeholder engagement plan last convene?
When will the aforementioned website be accessible?
The former B&M Bargains is an integral part of the regeneration scheme which is earmarked for completion by 2025.
Why do the DFC have this building on the market “To Let” given that it is due for demolition?
There are many more questions requiring answers but it would be greatly appreciated if our local Councillors in particular, and/or our MLA's/Ministers would care to furnish their electorate with answers to the above as a start to a new and more transparent engagement with those they claim to represent.
Please leave your comments on our FaceBook page:-
The Queens Parade Redevelopment Scheme Faces Further Setbacks
Further document released on 18th October 2021
Click on the Document Below
January 2021Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has welcomed the planning approval of a £50m mixed use development in the Queen’s Parade area of Bangor.
Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Planning Committee gave their approval at a meeting in January 2021.
The proposed scheme, developed by Bangor Marine Ltd (a partnership between Karl Group and Farrans), will see extensive improvements to the run down area of Bangor including new homes, a hotel, public realm scheme, events space and cafes/restaurants.
Welcoming approval of the Queen’s Parade planning application, Minister Hargey said:
“This is yet another major step in the right direction towards seeing this long awaited development delivered for the people of Bangor. This exciting scheme will create jobs, shops, offices and homes, and regenerate an area of the town that has been run down for some time. This is a genuinely exciting time for Bangor especially as we look forward to more positive times when we can emerge from the covid pandemic. I want to thank Council and Bangor Marine Ltd for their efforts in progressing this significant application at a challenging time.
I know this development is much anticipated by the local community and I too look forward to seeing the scheme go from concept to reality. With Queen’s Parade and the ongoing plans for the wider regeneration of the Bangor seafront area as part of the Belfast Region City Deal, there is much to look forward to for Bangor town centre in the future.”
The Queen’s Parade area of Bangor has been largely derelict for almost 20 years and its regeneration has been a priority for the Department for Communities, which owns most of the site. The site was offered for sale by way of a Development Brief. The Department, Ards and North Down Borough Council and Bangor Marine reached formal agreement on the terms that formed a Development Agreement in May 2019.
The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Trevor Cummings said:“The Planning Committee’s approval of this £50m development is an immense boost to Bangor, and the wider Ards and North Down area. Planning Officers worked closely with Bangor Marine and various consultees to redesign any potential obstacles in order that the application could be recommended to proceed. We are grateful to all those who contributed to the process, which was complex and rigorous".He continued:“Having achieved this milestone we can look forward to seeing progress on the programme for work ‘on the ground’ and further engagement with local residents and businesses. The Queen’s Parade development, combined with the Council’s own plans to regenerate Bangor Waterfront, offer the potential for more than £110m of investment to come into the town delivering new attractions, accommodations and commercial opportunities. These really are game-changing times for Bangor and we are all impatient to see them come to fruition.”Aran Blackbourne of Bangor Marine Ltd said:“This is hugely exciting. Getting planning approval moves us another step closer to our vision of bringing life back to Queen’s Parade and giving a much needed boost for the whole town. We would like to thank our professional team of Todd Architects, Park Hood, Atkins and Turley in working with us to secure planning permission.“We want to create a place for local people and visitors to enjoy, a place to live, socialise and soak up the wonderful sea views. We want to play our part in creating a sustainable future for this beautiful town. There is still a lot of hard work ahead but we are ready for the next phase and we will keep people informed on plans and timescales as they unfold.”
The proposed Bangor Marine Ltd scheme is made up of;
- Marine Gardens Public Realm combining External Events Space
- Sheltered Promenade & Kiosks
- Seafront Lawns
- Children’s Play Area & Water Feature
- a Hotel
- a Destination/Cinema Building
- Residential Units
- Commercial/Retail/Restaurant Space
- Office Space
- a Play Zone
- Refurbishment of Existing Commercial Properties
- basement Car Park
- Marketplace & Courtyard Squares.
Director of Bangor Marine Ltd. speakes about his vision for Bangor
THE FULL PLANNING REPORT IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD USING THE LINK BELOW
"Bangor Marine Limited"
New Revised Plan
Now that we're properly into the new year and the dust of 2020 has settled, it's a perfect time to take stock of where we're at in terms of the long anticipated development of our seafront and town centre.
Whilst 2020 severely disrupted many of our personal plans and dampened our spirits I am gladly surprised that the planning application
submitted by “Bangor Marine” (the Queens Parade developers) in January 2020 is pushing forward steadily.
Many of the issues raised by the varies government departments have been essentially resolved and the application will be brought to a special Council planning meeting next week with an expectation that planning consent will be achieved.
So I would expect construction work to begin around Autumn of 2021.
I hope for all our sakes that 2021 is a year were the light at the end of the tunnel shines brighter and brighter so we can move forward better and stronger as a town and as a community.
The proposed development seeks to transform the wider Queen’s Parade and marina area with the development of a hotel, retail, office, community, cultural and recreational space, in addition to eateries, a residential development as well as the creation of new public squares and courtyards.
£50 Million Seafront Development Plan Agreed
Bangor Marine Ltd has been appointed to take forward a major £50 million regeneration project of Queen's Parade in
The scheme will transform the County Down town's seafront, bringing new houses, shops, offices and employment opportunities to the area.
Bangor Marine has been awarded the contract by the Department for Communities, which Permanent Secretary Tracy Meharg said will support the vitality of the employment and tourism industry. She commented: "The new hotel and cafes will encourage more tourists to visit Bangor and help to support the retail offering and enhance the evening economy. The new homes will lead to more people living in Bangor again supporting local consumer outlets. When combined with new offices, this development will help to create new employment opportunities and breathe new life back into Bangor."
The proposed scheme includes the following additions to the seafront:
• children's play area and water feature
• sheltered promenade and kiosks
• marine gardens public realm combining external events space
• seafront lawns
• a 70-80 bed hotel
• a destination/cinema building
• residential units
• commercial, retail & restaurant spaces
• a play zone
• refurbishment of existing commercial properties
• 200 space car park
• market place & courtyard squares.
Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Richard Smart, said the regeneration of Queen's Parade is "critical" for the future of Bangor and of maximising the economic growth potential of the area.
CGI Images Released on November 2020
New Computer Generated Images of Proposed Cinema/Arts Centre
Computer Generated Image just released showing the proposed cinema on "The Market Place" ...a new public square created as part of the Queens Parade development
Key features include:-
•Stone clad ground floor level with set back colonnade Cinema entrance detail.
•Recessed windows and set back fascia details to contain a branding / advertising space.
•Feature 4.8m high oriel windows that are located to take advantage of key views out and moments within the building.
•Side window –located at the top of the main circulation stair and framing a view down to Main Street.
•The main front window facing the bar and overlooking the Market Place; and a smaller window on axis with the circulation in to and out of the cinema screens.
On closer consideration of the design we
can appreciate the natural stone cladding adorning the pillars and ground floor elevations.
The protruding and recessed fenestration is perfectly balanced to provide shelter and to capitalize on the stunning waterfront views.
The building can be purposed for Bangor's
many festivals including Open House and Sea Bangor etc.
Hopefully the many positive elements of the building will grow in favour as its purpose and potential is realised.
The protruding and recessed fenestration is perfectly balanced to provide shelter and to capitalize on the stunning waterfront views.
Planning Design Addendum - 29th July 2020
Same Apartment block as seen from Southwell Road end of Queens Parade