Queen Parade Development

JUNE 2022 - The Developers (Bangor Marine) submit a Revised Construction Schedule

 

Phase 1:
*Setting up of 2 site compounds (yellow blocks)
*Public realm works at McKee Clock Plaza
*Demolition of Hospice & Oxfam shops (for new "Trinity Way" Lane
*Side extension to Cafe Nero with outside space
 
Phase 2
*Relocation of Site compounds (yellow blocks)
*Public realm works (Marine Gardens - west side)
*Construction of residential apartments on west side of site
*Construction of basement car park
 
Phase 3
*Construction of Hotel, Offices, Retail block & kids Zone
*Construction of Market Square and under-deck car park
 
Phase 4
*Construction of Cinema/Theatre multi-use building
*Construction of King Street Dwellings
*Finishing off of roadways, footpaths, landscaping etc
PS: all information subject to change.
MARCH 2022:-   QUEENS PARADE GETS GO-AHEAD AS
DFI MINISTER RETURNS THE APPLICATION TO THE COUNCIL.
 
DEPARTMENT FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
09 March 2022
 
Mallon refers Queens Parade planning application back to Council for determination.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has decided that her Department will not “call in” the Queens Parade development planning application for determination. 
The Minister has now written to Ards and North Down Borough Council confirming this decision and has indicated that the ‘Holding’ Direction is no longer in place and the Council can continue to process the application accordingly.
Minister Mallon said: “I appreciate the significant interest in this project across the Ards and North Down Council area and the frustrations with the time it has taken to consider this matter.
“I also recognise the legitimate concerns and issues raised in relation to flood risk which required careful consideration.
“After fully examining all matters involved I have concluded, in this instance, that this application does not raise issues of such importance that their impact is considered to extend to a sub-regional or regional level and the circumstances of this case are not considered exceptional such as to render use of my power to “call in” the application.
“This has been a long and complex process, however I do not wish to delay this more than necessary for the people in the Bangor area who have waited a long time for the regeneration of Bangor seafront.”
Notes to editors:
1. The application, LA06/2020/0097/F, is for a mixed use development including offices, residential, retail leisure, hotel, car parking and public realm on lands mainly around Queen’s Parade, Bangor, as well as on Main Street, King Street, Southwell Road and the Marine Gardens car park and an area around the McKee Clock.
2. On 27 January 2021 the Department was subsequently notified by ANDBC, under the Planning (Notification of Applications) Direction 2017, of its intention to grant approval for a major planning application for a redevelopment scheme in Bangor where it had received a significant objection from a statutory consultee relating to potential flooding issues.

The Queens Parade Story to date, as of 20/02/22.

 

County Down Spectator Article  - QUEENS PARADE LIMBO

 
COUNCIL TO MEET TO DEBATE QUEENS PARADE LIMBO ON 18th January 2022
Council Planning Meeting as referenced in the Spectator Article
The planning meeting of the 18th January 2022 as reference in the Spector article below lasted for over 5 hours of which 5 minutes (at the end of the meeting) was used to discuss the Queens Parade issues.
Planning Meeting - Article 11.mp4
MP4 video/audio file [22.2 MB]
DFI Reservoirs Act
Councils response to the consultation in regards to the proposed DFI Reservoirs Act
Article 11 Planing Committee.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [544.6 KB]

 

PLANNED legislation that has left Bangor’s £50m Queen’s Parade revamp in limbo is set to be debated by Ards and
North Down Council this month. As the Spectator exclusively revealed two months ago, the huge redevelopment of the
centre of Bangor has been held up by the doomsday flood fears of Stormont civil servants. Officials are worried that the revamp would be at risk of becoming partly flooded if a lake three miles away from Bangor seafront burst its banks – something that, if it happened, would mean that thousands of homes in heavily residential parts of the town would be underwater before any of the floods touched Queen’s Parade. But the civil servants are still nervous about signing off on the £50m project, pointing to concerns flagged up during computer testing carried out in line with a reservoir safety act that hasn’t yet become law in Northern Ireland. Stormont’s Department for Infrastructure is currently running a consultation on that proposed reservoir safety act, however, and has asked Ards
and North Down Council for its views on the possible advantages, disadvantages and effects of the new law. The council has now resolved to take the issue to one of its committee meetings this week, with politicians pointing out that the legislation is already causing severe delays for the enormous regeneration scheme, even though it is still
only on the cards and has not yet been enacted by Stormont. As councillor Alistair Cathcart said at a recent meeting of the full council: “The failure of the Secretary of State in relation to the reservoirs act is hindering redevelopment with serious consequences in our borough.” The deadline for commenting on the consultation is January 23; the council is due to discuss the legislation at its Planning Committee meeting on January 18, but as that’s close to the deadline the committee is being given the authority to issue a response on behalf of the entire
council. Said alderman Stephen McIlveen: “Given the impact this has had on numerous planning applications throughout the borough, [including] some multi millionpound applications that this council is very aware of, it’s very important that we deal with this quickly and get this legislation on the books.” Councillor Philip Smith stated that some parts of the legislation need to be ‘firmly pondered’ by the council, adding that he looked forward to ‘the council giving its fulsome response’ to the consultation. The Queen’s Parade hold-up is due to a major hurdle from
the Department forInfrastructure’s Rivers section, which has to sign off on major schemes such as the £50m revamp. DfI Rivers say that part of the development along Southwell Road – planned site of car parking and ground floor apartments – would be at risk of flooding if a privately owned reservoir on the western outskirts of Bangor bursts its banks. That refers to Clandeboye Lake, located in the sprawling grounds of the Clandeboye Estate – meaning that for civil servants’ fears to come true, so much water would have to spill in a flash flood that much of Kilcooley, Bangor West and the town centre would be partially underwater before Queen’s Parade is hit.
There’s no suggestion that there are any issues with Clandeboye Lake, not least as
the Estate is widely known to be a very responsible landowner; nonetheless, DfI Rivers say that they won’t approve the project until they can get proof that the reservoir would not pose any danger to Queen’s Parade. Officials are following the rules of the reservoir safety act; but as that act has not yet been voted into law, owners of reservoirs on private property don’t have to follow it, and Stormont doesn’t have any authority to demand repairs to
private reservoirs. The upshot is that even though the council granted the Queen’s Parade scheme planning permission almost a year ago, developers Bangor Marine are stuck waiting for the verdict of DfI Rivers. Should the civil servants decide that the risks are too great and Clandeboye Lake needs to be seriously upgraded, without the reservoir act in place no one in any government body has the power to make that happen – potentially threatening to scupper the whole Queen’s Parade revamp.

Queens Parade Deadlock

 

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.

 

  1. Why did they leave their engagement with the consultation process until the eleventh hour?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

Responsibility

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.

 

Communication

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:-

https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/articles/regeneration-queens-parade-bangor

 

or the Councils page:-

https://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/business/bangor-regeneration/queens-parade

 

Please note the contradictory statements:

 

DFC Page:-

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.”

 

Council Page:

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.

 

And:-

 

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.”

  1. How many times has the project board met thus far?

  2. 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.


 

  1. Has the joint communications and stakeholder engagement plan been established?

  2. How many times has joint communications and stakeholder engagement plan met thus far?

  3. When did the joint communications and stakeholder engagement plan last convene?

  4. When will the aforementioned website be accessible?

DFC Acquired Property Currently “To Let”

The former B&M Bargains is an integral part of the regeneration scheme which is earmarked for completion by 2025.

  1. 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.

 

QUEENS PARADE DEADLOCK
A PRINTABLE & DOWNLODABLE VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE
QP Deadlock.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [336.9 KB]

 

 

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The Queens Parade Redevelopment Scheme Faces Further Setbacks

 

October 2021

 

IIn January 2021, Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Planning Committee gave their approval to the plans submitted by Bangor Marine Limited, for the development site located at Queen’s Parade and Marine Gardens in Bangor.
Since then the Department for Infrastructure (DFI), which has the power to "call-in" the project, has been carrying out an assessment on the planning application with particular focus on Clandeboye Lake and its associated potential safety issues.
The DfI have raised concerns in relation to the possible breaching of the reservoir which could potentially result in water inundation of the Queens Parade under deck car park.
Council awaits DfI’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.
 
(N.B. £8,805,577.96 of public money so far spent on property acquisition)
 
Extract from DFI letter, dated 6th September 2021.
“...DfI Rivers reservoir inundation maps indicate that this site is in a potential area of inundation emanating from Clandeboye Lake. It has not been demonstrated to DfI Rivers that the condition, management and maintenance regime of Clandeboye Lake is appropriate to provide sufficient assurance regarding reservoir safety so as to enable the development to proceed,as required under Policy FLD 5.”
That was the Department of Infrastructures position on the 6th September 2021. Since then the DFI have released another letter confirming their position.

***LATEST POSITION***

Further document released on 18th October 2021

Click on the Document Below

Department for Infrastructure Rivers Planning Advisory Modelling Unit
Presumption Against any Development.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [399.6 KB]
 
Perhaps all the hype & euphoria back in January was somewhat premature.
Maybe our elected political representatives would like to comment on what planning approval actually means.
Somebody needs to take responsibility for this shambles. Hundreds of thousands of pounds have previously been spent on consultants fees to produce a development package that was presumed to be "shovel  ready"for potential developers. In fact the site had sucessfully been through the planning process before it even went out to tender. One would have thought that any concerns about Clandeboye lake would have been raised at that particular juncture, a few years ago. So what happens now? Well, that is for our local politicians to answer. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say!

 

January 2021
 
Communities 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
  • Cafes
  • 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

 

CASE OFFICER PLANNING REPORT
153 PAGE DOCUMENT - EVERYTHING YOU NEED [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [4.2 MB]

"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.

 

Queens Parade Proposed Plan

 

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.

 

Detailed Layout Plan
· Car parking has been tucked away
under the public squares and will be
accessed from Southwell Road

· Pedestrian movements have been
prioritised on Queen’s Parade in order
to connect the site to the waterfront

· Creation of new streets and laneways
accessed from Main Street

· New public open spaces including
Market Square providing a visual
link to the waterfront
(the space will be slightly larger than St Anne Square, Belfast)
Key Elements.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [5.2 MB]

£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 Bangor.

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.

The Cinema/Arts Centre

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

Full Design Addendum as submitted on 29th July 2020
Design Addendum July 2020.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.2 MB]

Same Apartment block as seen from Southwell Road end of Queens Parade

Hotel and Waterfront
The Market Place
Steps & Ramp to the "Market Place"
The Hotel - Queens Parade Frontage
New Mews Houses at King Street
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