Plans have been submitted to Causeway Coast & Glens Council for the demolition of existing retail units and the proposed development of twelve social housing apartments on 4 - 10 Church Lane, Coleraine.
Commenting on the application Councillor William McCandless said "For decades retail has been the dominant activity on the High Street and Town Centres. It would appear the tipping point has arrived in the past couple of years.
"I certainly don’t feel the commercial future of the High Street is over but certainly the traditional pattern of making purchases in physical stores, both in and out of town, has been seriously disrupted by the growth of online shopping.
"Not too many years ago people lived in town centres so why not use derelict premises to solve the acute housing shortage which we currently face. Housing is a complex situation but the existing infrastructure and services in town help to make the conversion to accommodation easier.
"There is no silver bullet for these two matters but a good start could be linking these two problems together."
The applicant is T.D MacFarlane Limited.
The application will go before the planning committee within the next few months.