The supermarket retailer Lidl bought more than 100 houses in Bangor last year in an effort to secure a new site in the Co Down town, The Irish News understands.
The grocer acquired the houses in the Skipperstone area last year in a bid to obtain a new larger site close to the Bloomfield Shopping Centre.
Most of the houses were subsequently sold to a property company connected to Frank Boyd’s Killultagh Group.
The Belfast-based property group’s interests include the Connswater and Castlebawn shopping centres.
Lidl retained around 30 bungalows at Skipperstone, which it is now proposing to demolish to clear the way for its new build Bangor site, which is close to its existing supermarket.
The retailer has now notified Ards and North Down Borough Council of its proposal.
It’s understood around 17 residents in the small bungalows were rehoused elsewhere in the Skipperstone estate, where a refurbishment programme is being carried out by the new owner.
Details of the new Bangor retail development emerged on Monday as Lidl announced it had entered the planning process for three new supermarkets in the north.
New replacement stores are also planned in Dungannon and Craigavon, with Lidl securing new sites in both cases.
In Craigavon, Lidl has signed up for a new site next to the Rushmere Shopping Centre.
The proposal would see a new 27,000 sq ft supermarket built on site of the former Sainsbury’s fuel forecourt, between the roundabout and Primark’s new anchor store at Rushmere.
It’s the latest boost for Rushmere under its new local ownership.
The centre was acquired by Killahoey Limited in February 2023, in a £46.5 million deal led by DV8 founder Ian McMahon.
The Irish News first revealed in December how Lidl’s plans in Dungannon will involve building a new supermarket and café on a derelict site at Ann Street, which has been vacant for almost 40 years.
The grocer said subject to planning, all three stores will open during 2025.
Lidl’s plans for Bangor will be put on public display in its current store on Tuesday March 19 (4.30pm to 6.30pm).