Developer sought for Dungannon eyesore

Site of the proposed devolpment at Ann Street, Dungannon  TT4809-201JS
Site of the proposed devolpment at Ann Street, Dungannon TT4809-201JS

A developer is being sought for one of the town’s largest empty sites, which has languished in neglect for three decades.

The weed-covered three-acre plot on the corner of Ann Street, which sold for £3million in 2007, was snapped up by Dungannon Council for a knockdown £575,000 in 2014.

Commercial property agent Lisney has now been hired by the council to remarket the site, which has long been a symbol of the neglect in the west of the town, and seek a suitable developer.

It is hoped that a bidder will be found within weeks.

However, the initiative is the latest in a long line of grand visions for the site, which have fizzled in the past.

Once envisioned as the location for a new Dunnes Stores outlet to rival Tesco’s, the retail hopes were dashed when the firm shelved the plans and allowed the site to fall into disuse. Other ill-fated projects included plans for an 80 bedroom motel and 100 apartments.

In 2007, a consortium paid an estimated £3m for the site, and announced plans to develop 75,000 square feet of retail space with underground parking. However the development project fell foul of the property crash.

The council had originally planned to build a mixture of retail and residential units on the site, and had begun the process of appointing a project manager to develop the site, but this was later cancelled.

Mid Ulster Council officers have been working to progress a number of issues including undertaking appropriate archaeological assessments and progressing the transfer of part of the subject lands to the council.