Sunday trading hours to be extended

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council has agreed a further extension to Sunday trading hours.

This arrangement will be temporary and put in place to cover the period until Sunday, June 27 inclusive.

The proposal was approved as a result of ongoing restrictions in response to the Covid pandemic. It was agreed, the hours between 10am and 1pm will be set aside to facilitate key workers, healthcare workers and customers with disabilities.

The council 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”.

The arrangement was also to help retailers manage customer volumes and better facilitate key workers, healthcare workers and customers with disabilities.

It applies to large retail shops. 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”.