Community Consultation Event For Ballydugan Retail Park

A Community Consultation Event is Taking Place for Ballydugan Retail Park in Downpatrick

A public exhibition hosted by Celpark Limited, part of Comer Group Ireland, will showcase its plans for Ballydugan Retail Park on Wednesday 27 March from 1pm to 7pm at St Patrick’s Centre, Downpatrick.  

The £22m proposal for investment in Downpatrick includes plans to replace the existing Asda store and three non-food retail units, which were severely damaged by flooding last year.

Severe flooding in late October 2023 caused substantial damage to the Asda store and adjacent retail units.

Following a detailed assessment of the damage, structural issues were identified that were deemed to be a hazard to human, health and safety.

A decision was therefore made to permanently close the existing superstore and retail units and replace them with new buildings.

On 25 January 2024 Asda opened a temporary store in the carpark of Ballydugan Retail Park.

The 1,639 square metre temporary building, built in just eight weeks, provides the key everyday essentials across produce, meat and fish, frozen, grocery an beers, wines & spirits, offering a short-term solution for Asda’s regular customers.

The plans also provide for a petrol filling station with shop, a service yard and around 465 free car parking spaces that will include EV charging points.

An artist’s impression of the site of the new ASDA development at Ballydugan Park in Downpatrick.

Take part in the consultation says Celpark

Celpark Limited is encouraging local people, elected representatives and other interested parties to attend the drop-in event which is part of a 12 week community consultation ahead of submitting a planning application to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The event will provide those attending with an opportunity to review the plans for the proposed replacement store and non-food retail units, car parking and petrol station and with a platform to provide feedback.

A spokesperson, at Celpark Limited, said: “We are committed to giving the local and wider community a landmark shopping destination that will help renew and revitalise Downpatrick town centre after last year’s devastating floods.

“The first step on this journey is to take on board the views of local people as part of the planning process and this event is important to the project.

“The outcome of community engagement with local residents and liaison with stakeholders is pivotal to our plans for Ballydugan Retail Park going forward.”

Following the 12 week consultation, a Pre-Application Community Consultation Report summarising all feedback received, and Celpark’s response to how any feedback will be incorporated, will be detailed ahead of the final proposals for the scheme.

The report will be submitted as part of the planning application to Council.

The proposals will include a multimillion-pound engineering solution which will be designed using reinforced concrete foundations and slabs supported on new piles and pile caps.

This type of piled foundation solution is not a stone load transfer platform (as per the original foundations), and is a tried and tested engineering solution used in areas where the ground conditions are poor.

Anticipated Building works are due to commence in October 2024 subject to planning consent from the Council.

Whilst a slight change to the layout of the retail park is being proposed, the Asda store will be located closer to the McDonalds unit and the non-food retail units will be situated adjacent to the undamaged non-food retail units to the north west of the site.

Access to the retail park will remain unchanged.

An Asda spokesperson said: “In the months since the closure of our Downpatrick store as a result of the devastating flooding, we’ve seen first-hand how much of a key role Asda plays in the local community.

“Whilst we are pleased that the temporary store is now up and running, a long-term solution is required.

“That’s why we’re excited to embark on the planning process for a new permanent store which will bring the full range of Asda services back to Downpatrick, including provision for a new fuel station attached to the store.”

Following the community consultation and formal planning process, if planning permission is granted it is envisaged that the replacement Asda store will open in early 2026. For further information on the plans, please email 

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On Celpark The Developer

Celpark Limited is part of Comer Group Ireland, a family owned global real estate investment and development company.

It was founded in 1982, Comer Group has a significant presence in some of Europe’s major cities.

Comer Group is unique in today’s built environment sector. Its hands-on management team have a vast experience of delivering all types of property development on time and to budget, irrespective of the challenges that may arise.

A pioneering multi disciplined real estate company, they have the expertise and experience to deliver a state-of-the-art retail development for Downpatrick.

Asda Downpatrick

Asda employs over 3,500 colleagues in Northern Ireland, including 150 colleagues in Asda Downpatrick where it is currently trading in a 1,639 square metre store at Ballydugan Retail Park.

The temporary store was constructed in just 8 weeks to provide a home for Asda in the town following the devastating flooding in November 2023.

Asda is a growing business, recently opening an Asda Express in Ballymena and securing full planning permission for a new 3,700 square metre store in Newtownabbey.

Currently, Asda NI has 16 superstores, an Asda Living, an Asda Express and a Regional Distribution Centre in Larne.

Asda’s award winning Community Programme has been supporting good causes across Northern Ireland for over a decade, with a dedicated Community. Champion based in each store.

The Asda Foundation donates over £4 million each year to good causes, including £2,500 to the Downpatrick Town Committee to help businesses with the flooding and by 2026 will have raised £100 million for breast cancer charities.

Asda’s Local Sourcing team based in NI work directly with suppliers to ensure a leading range of local produce in store, including a major supply contract for Asda UK with Finnebrogue.

Asda is committed to achieving Net Zero by 2040. Their scope 1 & 2 emissions are down 40% since 2015.