Northern Ireland

Asda to appeal Newtownards supermarket planning decision

Large Asda sign above a superstore
Image caption Asda already has a store in Ards Shopping Centre

The retail chain Asda is appealing against the decision to prevent it building a new supermarket in Newtownards, County Down.

In June the environment minister refused a planning application for the 4,000 sq m development at the site of the former Scrabo High School.

The then minister, Alex Attwood, said the development would have an adverse impact on Newtownards town centre.

Asda already has a store at the Ards Shopping Centre.

The company and their development partner, Turkington Holdings, have lodged an appeal with the Planning Appeals Commission that is due to be heard in January 2014.

The application for the new development stated the existing premises "no longer provide the customer experience Asda wish to deliver".

The proposed development also includes three non-food shop units, a petrol station and a park and ride.

Formal objections to the scheme were lodged by Tesco and the owners of Ards Shopping Centre, Belfast Office Properties.

Letters of support for the Asda scheme were lodged by Scrabo Residents Association and several DUP politicians, including the local MP, Jim Shannon.