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Site opens for city car park but future remains uncertain

The vacant site of the former North Street Flats in Newry will once again open for a seven week period as a free temporary car park in the run up to Christmas – but the long term redevelopment of the prime city centre site remains unclear. The site is currently under the ownership of the Department of Social Development (DSD) but Roads Service will oversee its upkeep for the next seven weeks as it controls all car parks in the north. A Roads Service spokesperson said: “As in recent years Roads Service plan to open the temporary car park at North Street in Newry to provide additional free parking over the Christmas and New Year period. It will be open from November 26 until early January. However the site will be closed again in the New Year and remain under DSD ownership but there are no plans as of yet to redevelop the site. In October 2011, the ground was identified in the Newry Masterplan as “one of Newry’s most prominent sites” with a central location ideally suited to a major mixed use scheme.” It added that the development could be “carefully planed and designed to ensure active frontage is prevented onto North Street.” A DSD spokesperson said they would be issuing a development brief to redevelop the area in line with the masterplan next year but that DSD would meet with Newry and Mourne Council to discuss use of the site in the intervening period. He said: “The Newry City Centre Masterplan identifies North Street Flats as an ideal location for a major mixed use scheme, incorporating residential, commercial and community uses with car parking to the rear and new active frontage. DSD intends issuing a development brief for this site within the next couple of months so that this site can be developed in line with the msterplan. The Department is aware that it may take some time for these plans to come to fruition therefore the Department has arranged to meet with Newry and Mourne District Council to explore options for the use of the site in the intervening period.”


Newry Democrat

4th December 2012