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Estate agent told to tear down smart new branch exterior by planners

Despite replacing a shabby old shop and helping upgrade a formerly careworn street, Northern Ireland agency Adams McGillan has lost its planning battle.

Nigel Lewis

estate agent

A high street estate agent in Northern Ireland is experiencing every agents’ nightmare after local planners told the company it must tear down its recently-upgraded branch exterior.

Four-year-old estate agency Adams McGillan operated until recently just a single branch in Coleraine.  But earlier this year it opened a smart office in neighbouring Ballymoney and spent ‘thousands’ on a new interior and exterior for the building.

Local planners took a dislike to the company’s design efforts and told it to take down the wood and grey castle-themed stone exterior.

A planning battle lasting several months ensued but yesterday the company lost its appeal despite arguing that their new branch had transformed a previously damp old shop and also improved a relatively shabby street.

Planning battle

“We didn’t go for fluorescent pink lights and flashing neon, instead, we were sympathetic and introduced indigenous materials such as stone and wood with back lit signage,” said a joint statement to the local paper from its estate agent directors Ross Adams and Joanne McGillan.

“It is with great regret despite our best endeavours that our local planners have insisted that 32 Church Street is an area of historical interest and none of our exterior may stay.”

“We are not the type to shout and cry, it is what it is, we thought we would let you know why local planners prefer to move backwards rather than forwards.”

Readers can make their own minds up about the firm’s design taste with these before and after pictures, top.

Read more about Northern Ireland.






September 5, 2019

One comment

  1. Quite absurd! So sorry for you guys – you did a great job. There are so many shabby old fashioned (but hardly historic) shops in mediocre streets in NI and elsewhere in the UK where the high street is going backwards in terms of its appearance. Well done for your efforts to reverse this and shame on the planners for their bigoted lack of vision. Where does one go from here though?? Have a great day. Richard.

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