Queen's Parade

Investment in the Queen’s Parade area of Bangor town centre is critical to local regeneration.  This site is identified as a key opportunity in the Department for Infrastructure’s Regional Development Strategy and central government has spent £9M acquiring the site.

The Department for Communities is leading on the redevelopment of the Queen’s Parade area of Bangor.  An extensive summary of the site and recent key milestones, along with an outline of the current redevelopment proposals, is provided on its website: Regeneration of Queens Parade, Bangor

Visit Bangor Marine's dedicated Queen's Parade website Home - Bangor Marine (queensparadebangor.com) and sign up for the Newsletter to receive news and updates.

Background and current position

In May 2019, the Department for Communities and the Council signed a Development Agreement for the site with Bangor Marine Ltd (a joint venture between Farrans and the Karl Group).  The developer then submitted a planning application in January 2020 that was approved by Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Planning Committee in January 2021.

Notification of DfI Planning: Because a statutory consultee had objected to the application (DfI Rivers) legislation required the Council to notify DfI Planning of its intention and prevents a decision from issuing within 28 days.  In February 2021 the Council was notified by DfI Planning that it could not grant planning approval until further advised – as the Department was considering whether the proposed development raised issues of such importance that it could be considered to have a significant regional impact (in respect of setting aside the policy to which DfI Rivers has referred in its objection), and whether it was more appropriate for the Department to ‘call-in’ the application and make the determination itself. 

Year of delay: One year on from delaying the Council in issuing its agreed planning approval, DfI Planning had made no further determination on the scheme.  The impact of this delay on the proposed regeneration of Bangor was extremently concerning to residents and businesses.  The Council and the Developer called upon interested groups to write to the Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, asking her to support the Council’s decision to approve this planning application.  Following a successful campaign, the Minister advised on 9 March 2022 that her Department would not be 'calling in' the Queen's Parade planning application and that the Council could proceed to grant planning permission to Bangor Marine for the crucial town centre regeneration project.

Planning Reviews:  As a result of DfI's intervention and the 13 month delay, the Council's Planning Service had to follow certain additional procedural requirements before formal confirmation of planning approval (commonly known as the 'Green Form') could be issued to Bangor Marine.  These were

1) conduct a pre-determination hearing to update the Planning Committee on the DfI's decision not to 'call in' the planning application

2) hold a Planning Committee to determine the planning application cognisant of what has occurred since the original resolution to approve in January 2021.

These meetings were held on Wednesday 20 July and Committee Members voted unanimously to approve the Bangor Marine planning application.     

The Council, Bangor Marine and Department for Communities (as planning authority, developer and landowner) then worked together to finalise the legal agreement for the scheme.  This was signed and the formal decision notice issued on 29 September 2022.  

Work on site: Bangor Marine has communicated publicly that once the formal decision notice (Green Form) is issued, the company will progress through a process of detailed design and securing contracts/ materials with the aim of being on site within 12 months.  

FAQs and Video

Below are some FAQs about the development - these are updated regularly.  

There is also a video in which Aran Blackbourne from Bangor Marina and Susie McCullough from the Council talk about some of the issues behind the year long delay on granting planning and the process we were working through with the Department for Infrastructure (but please note this situation is now resolved)

Frequently asked questions

What is the current status of the Queen’s Parade Development?

Bangor Marine (the developer) submitted a planning application for the Queen’s Parade site in January 2020.

As part of assessing any planning application the Council’s Planning Service carries out a range of consultations with various government bodies, such as Roads, Rivers, NI Water, NI Environment Agency. In this case DfI (Department for Infrastructure) Rivers objected to the proposal due to concerns about flooding from a nearby reservoir.

The Council’s Planning Service weighed these potential risks of flooding against the economic, social and environmental benefits the investment offered to Bangor and determined that the benefits outweighed the potential risk. The Bangor Marine’s planning application was approved by the Council’s Planning Committee on 26 January 2021

Due to the DfI rivers objection, Council notified DfI Planning of the decision and was subsequently instructed not to grant planning approval as the Department wanted time to consider the application and any regional impacts in relation to policy non-compliance (flooding).

The Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, advised on 9 March 2022 that her Department would not be ‘calling in’ the Queen’s Parade planning application and that the Council could proceed to grant planning permission to Bangor Marine.

Planning Reviews: As a result of DfI’s intervention and the 13 month delay, the Council’s Planning Service had to follow certain additional procedural requirements before formal confirmation of planning approval (commonly known as the ‘Green Form’) could be issued to Bangor Marine. These were

1) conduct a pre-determination hearing to update the Planning Committee on the DfI’s decision not to ‘call in’ the planning application

2) hold a Planning Committee to determine the planning application cognisant of what has occurred since the original resolution to approve in January 2021.

These meetings were held on Wednesday 20 July and Committee Members voted unanimously to approve the Bangor Marine planning application.

The Council, Bangor Marine and Department for Communities (as planning authority, developer and landowner) then worked together to finalise the legal agreement for the scheme. This was signed and the formal decision notice issued on 29 September 2022.

Work on site: Bangor Marine has communicated publicly that once the formal decision notice (Green Form) is issued, the company will progress through a process of detailed design and securing contracts/ materials with the aim of being on site within 12 months.

What is the current proposal? 

A £50m private investment that will deliver:

  • A 67-bed hotel with spa/ swimming pool
  • 138 new homes (37 x 1 beds/ 98 x 2 beds/ 3 x 3 beds)
  • Over 6000m2 of office space
  • 1,858m2 of food and beverage/ retail opportunities
  • A destination/ cinema building
  • 1,208m2 indoor activity space
  • 255 space car park
  • Marine Gardens public realm and open space
What is the difference between Queen’s Parade and the Bangor Waterfront project?

These are two different but complimentary investment schemes for Bangor.

Queen’s Parade is a £50M investment in a mixed-use development by Bangor Marine – a joint venture between Farrans and Karl Group. It will regenerate the Queen’s Parade area of the town centre.

Bangor Waterfront is the redevelopment of a 2 mile stretch of coastline from Skippingstone beach to Ballyholme. It is being led by the Council and is due to receive circa £40M of funding from Belfast Region City Deal. The remaining investment will come from Council (£20M) and the private sector (£12M). Read more at Bangor Waterfront | Ards and North Down Borough Council

Combined, these schemes will deliver £122M into the town and allow it to embark on its most ambitious regeneration journey for decades.

Bangor Regeneration