Gravis Director and RTPI NI Chair, Chris Bryson, gives views on NI Assembly planning debate
16 February 2024
23 June 2023
We are happy to have received planning approval for a Change of Use to a retail unit in the upper car park of The Mall shopping centre in Armagh, to accommodate the activities of Armagh City Vineyard Church.
The new premises will provide members of the Church with a further venue in the city to gather and worship, and incorporates acoustic measures to ensure that any noise emanating from the new use does not affect neighbouring businesses. The proposal will also act as a community hub in its provision of crucial services such as support groups for a variety of issues, drop-in counselling sessions, a foodbank, a homework club, pop-up shops and a place to gather for snacks and refreshments.
The application was submitted in January 2023 and was approved within six months. The proposed use is compatible with the mixed-use nature of the city centre location and benefits from both on-site and on-street parking nearby, as well as excellent links with public transport services. Minor alterations to the elevations have also been deemed acceptable in the Conservation Area location.
It is also of note that the proposal complies with the primary planning consideration – the Local Development Plan (Armagh Area Plan 2004) – which encourages a range of land uses in the Armagh City Centre including civic and ecclesiastical, which are integrated in the offering of Armagh City Vineyard Church.
As a low impact use, the proposal will not result in any environmental problems such as noise, nuisance or general disturbance and will therefore not be detrimental to the particular character of the area.
If you are thinking about changing the Use Class of your property, or any questions related to retail planning, do not hesitate to contact our Director of Retail Planning, Martin Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.