Downpatrick Asda temporary store to get plan approval

Downpatrick Asda temporary store to get plan approval

7 February 2024

FORMAL planning approval for Asda’s new temporary store in Downpatrick will be rubber-stamped by local politicians this morning.

Although the store is already open, members of Newry, Mourne and Down Council’s Planning Committee are to discuss the planners’ recommendation to approve it.

The store at the Downe retail park includes a sales floor, chillers and freezers, plant area and staff facilities.

The temporary store is just under one third smaller than the original shopping centre which is expected to be bulldozed and rebuilt after suffering major damage during last November’s flood.

Current car parking provision at the retail park has been reconfigured as the temporary store will result in the loss of just over 100 spaces, leaving 350 available for shoppers to access all the businesses at this part of the town.

In December, a planning report submitted as part of the bid to secure approval for Asda’s temporary store revealed structural engineers discovered 31 defects in the wake of November’s devastating flood.

Defects uncovered by engineers during a forensic examination of the building – which Asda leases – included an issue with the foundation floor which included what is believed to be a large sink hole.

Large cracks also appeared in walls with damage reported to interior ceilings and floors.

As a result of the damage, the retail giant initially revealed that what is one of its flagship stores would remain closed for the “foreseeable future” following the flooding.

As work continues to have everything in place ahead of tomorrow’s opening of the temporary store, Harry Corry, Peacocks and Poundstretcher remain closed.

They closed shortly before Christmas to allow for further structural examinations, with the news confirmed via their social media accounts. All stock has since been removed from Harry Corry’s store.

For other shops at the Downe Retail Park it’s very much business as usual, with New Look, Costa Argos and Halfords all remaining open.

In the town centre, Card Factory has reopened last week after the November flood engulfed the store, but other businesses which were unable to relocate remain closed.

B&M Bargains, Poundland, DV8 and Savers remain closed with no indication at this stage when they will be reopening.