Northern Ireland

Castlebawn: Future of Newtownards retail plan in doubt

Castlebawn site
Image caption The Castlebawn site straddles the Ards town centre boundary

The future of a major redevelopment project in Newtownards, County Down, is in doubt after the company behind it was placed into administration.

The Castlebawn development was to include a 20,000 sq metre shopping centre, business park, hotel and care home.

The first phase of the scheme has already been built.

The investment fund Cerberus appointed KPMG as administrators to Castlebawn Ltd last week.

Castlebawn is a joint venture between Eastwood Property and R&A Developments.

The firm's director Fearghal Eastwood said the administration was a consensual arrangement and that he was continuing to work with Cerberus in an advisory capacity.

The shopping centre element of the development had received planning permission, but that was quashed last year following a judicial review.

That planning application is now being reconsidered but Cerberus may make fresh applications.

It is possible that housing may form part of any revised scheme.

Castlebawn's most recent accounts, for the year ending August 2013, indicate that it had assets valued at just over £17m and debts of more than £26m.

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