Portaferry Public Realm Scheme

An artists impression of Portaferry Public Realm showing an aerial view of the square, including planting schemes, buildings, carparking etc

Portaferry is a coastal village at the southern end of the Ards peninsula, with scenic views of Strangford Lough, its own marina and rich local heritage.  

Portaferry will soon undergo a significant £2M environmental improvement scheme that will provide a safe, accessible, and attractive shared space for people to live, work, visit and invest.  

The scheme is funded under the Covid Recovery Small Settlements Regeneration Programme (SSRP) with a contribution from Ards and North Down Borough Council. The SSRP is a collaborative approach, with contributions from the Department for Communities, Department for Infrastructure, and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.  

The Council recently appointed local construction company, Northstone Ltd, to deliver the programme of works. 

Construction works will commence onsite October 2023, with an expected completion Summer 2024. 

The Portaferry Public Realm Scheme includes the following areas: 

Market Square | Castle Street | Ferry Street | High Street | Meeting House Street 

The public realm scheme will welcome improved street lighting, widening and resurfacing of footpaths with sustainable materials, better pedestrian connectivity, incorporation of street furniture and planting.  

The Market Square carpark will be redesigned to create a usable civic space.  

The scheme aims to: 

  • support a sustainable village centre by creating a physical environment that supports economic activity and helps alleviate deprivation.  
  • enhance the potential to attract tourism and associated spend and preserve the village’s identity and retail offering, through improving the physical appearance of Portaferry 
  • use appropriate materials in keeping with Portaferry status as an historic village and visitor destination 
  • promote civic pride throughout the village 

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions list below.

Please note, a Contractor Introduction and Scheme Information Sessions were held for residents on Monday 4 September 2023.

If you would like to be kept informed of progress and receive the Portaferry Public Realm Scheme Newsletter, please email ‘SUBSCRIBE’ to portaferrypublicrealm@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk  

Contact Details     

Northstone’s Public Liaison Officer will be contactable on 07385 029472 for any day-to-day queries about the works or particular requirements for access.

For out of hours contact, there is a 24hr contractor’s contact number for Northstone: 02890394419

Alternatively, there is a dedicated contractor’s email address portaferrypr@northstone-ni.com where Northstone will endeavour to answer any queries or address any issues.

For general queries on the scheme you can contact Council Officers on 03000133333 (Ask for the Regen Team) or email portaferrypublicrealm@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

Frequently asked questions

When will the work commence?

Work is due to commence onsite in October 2023.  

When will the work be finished?

The work is expected to be completed by Summer 2024.  

What public consultation was done for the Portaferry Public Realm Scheme?

A public consultation event was held in Portaferry in September 2019 to take into consideration the publics views.

Feedback from the public during this consultation period could be provided in person at the public meeting, via email or post.

A flyer providing an overview of the scheme and details of the consultation were distributed throughout the village

As a result, updated drawings for Portaferry Public Realm works were then put on display in Portaferry Market House from Monday 16 December 2019 to Monday 06 January 2020.

Planning Application was submitted 13 December 2019 and granted 5th March 2021 reference: LA06/2019/1267/F

Neighbourhood Notifications issued 09 January 2020 with a response required no later than 23 January 2020 for the original plan submitted. No Letters of Objection were received.

Further Neighbourhood Notifications issued 10 February 2021 with a response required no later than 24 February 2020 regarding an amended plan. No Letters of Objection were received.

Will this work impact the Portaferry Gala Festival?

No works will take place during and one-week prior to the Portaferry Gala Festival. 

Where can I find out more information about the scheme? 

Visual displays of the scheme can be viewed from September 2023 at Market House, Market Square | Exploris, The Ropewalk, Portaferry.

Will there be a reduction in car parking spaces?

The scheme will remove the car park from the middle of the Market Square to accommodate the creation of a usable civic space. The road carriageway and footpaths around the Market Square will be realigned to create additional parking spaces with the result being a net loss of eight car parking spaces, five as a result of this scheme and three as a result of the works recently completed at the Eurospar.

This has been more than offset with the new car park at the Eurospar naturally reducing demand for parking in the square.

Will the existing trees be retained, and will there be any additional planting/trees? 

Four trees in the Market Square will be removed to facilitate the road carriageway alignment. There will be an additional seven movable planters installed at the front of Market Square, and one additional tree planted at the back of Market Square. 

What materials have been selected for the scheme?

Natural stone paving has been selected for the scheme, with street furniture and lighting that will be in keeping with the local heritage and appropriate to the requirements of the village’s status as a conservation area.  

Will the works affect my business?

Every effort will be made to minimise disruption. Access to properties will be maintained at all times. We will keep you informed of work schedules and a dedicated Site Liaison Officer will be available to answer questions. 

Will I be entitled to a rates rebate? 

We are aware of the disruption this may cause to your business but unfortunately a rebate on your rates is not applicable.