Dr Stephen Farry stated: “This is a most welcome step by the Minister and a major vote of confidence in the future of Bangor.
“The regeneration of Bangor seafront is vital to the economic future of the town. The delays over the past few years have been hugely frustrating and we have lost too many opportunities.
“This scheme has the potential to not only transform Bangor’s waterfront but to encourage developments elsewhere in the North Down area.
“I appreciate the concerns and reservations that some people have. There is sensitivity regarding building towards the sea. However, Bangor has been become disconnected from its waterfront with the Queen’s Parade carpark. This makes little economic sense. It should be noted that there are not currently views of the sea from street level at Queen’s Parade.
“This new scheme offers new opportunities to reconnect Bangor with its major asset, and to create a stronger promenade and café culture. New buildings are to be balanced with open space.
“The next stage for the developers is the planning process. The plans to date have only been concept and I anticipate that issues relating to the height and positioning of some of the buildings, and critical matters relating to traffic and carparking will be major issues in that respect.”