Further Sunday trade extension expected for Antrim and Newtownabbey
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council will consider permitting a further extension to Sunday trading hours when it meets on Monday evening.
This arrangement would be temporary and is expected to be put in place to cover the period from Sunday, March 28 until Sunday, June 27 inclusive.
The proposal is expected to be approved as a result of ongoing restrictions in response to the Covid pandemic.
If agreed, the hours between 10am and 1pm will be set aside to facilitate key workers, healthcare workers and customers with disabilities.
The local authority first took a decision to relax enforcement action in relation to Sunday opening hours of large supermarkets last April. This was extended in November in the run-up to Christmas to facilitate “safe shopping environments and social distancing for staff and customers”.
The arrangement was also put in place to help retailers manage customer volumes and better facilitate key workers, healthcare workers and customers with disabilities.
The arrangement applies to large retail shops (in excess of 280 square metres. There would be no change to smaller retail shops which can continue to trade up to 24 hours.
Normal liquor licencing provisions would not be affected by this relaxation.
Meanwhile, councillors have been told that new “masterplans” are being developed for each town in the borough with site visits being arranged in Antrim, Ballyclare, Crumlin, Glengormley and Randalstown.
The plans are intended to “provide physical enhancements and cosmetic improvements to various parts of the towns including installation of street art, branding, street dressing, floral displays and planting in attractive and welcoming spaces for both residents and visitors and encourage increased footfall”.
The plans also seek to “repurpose vacant spaces to support the hospitality and retail sectors and signpost visitors to town centre attractions”.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
Click here to read: Antrim and Newtownabbey Council in Covid recovery mode, members told
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