The CBD of a town is an area which mainly has the following characteristics:-
Lack of housing:
The CBD is more of an area where business and commerce reside, exceptions include penthouse flats in large centres.
Not much open space:
More space in areas like suburbs/outskirts.
High rise buildings:
This is due to competition for land and high rents, it costs less to build upwards.
Lack of industry:
Industry tends to be situated on the outskirts where land is cheaper and there is more of it.
Commercial land use:
Most buildings tend to be used for certain types of function e.g. shops and offices.
No Greenfield sites
Where the highest land values and the greatest densities of pedestrians tends to be the shopping area of the CBD, offices are placed in areas where land value is lower. Department stores group in close proximity to the peak land value intersection (usually the ‘main street’) where high density pedestrian flows are depended on. Corner sites for shops give advantage to businesses due to the extra visibility to customers, competition for these sites is very high because shops and offices need to locate where they can attract the most custom. Today, Residential zones have been driven out of the CBD whereas they once used to be fashionable, now the land in the CBD is so expensive few can afford it.
Location of stores can depend on the goods or services being sold, therefore goods can be divided into three groups:
3. Luxury or specialist goods.
The regularity of purchases and the cost affects the location of the stores.
The site and position of Ballymoney
The town of Ballymoney is situated just north of Ballymena in an area of lowland with the Sperrins to the west, the Antrim plateau to the east and to the north the coast near Rathlin Island (shown on the Map of Northern Ireland). The river Bann and the river Bush drain it. Ballymoney’s ancient name was ‘Aenach Cross’, “the town on the bog” and it is known as the capital of the “Route” (derived from the name “Riada”).
Ballymoney is mainly a market town for local farmers as it is situated on the main road and railroad from Belfast to Londonderry and has several small farming villages surrounding it (Dervock, Bendooragh, Ballybogey) as shown on the map of the Borough of Ballymoney. In the past the town was occupied with the linen industry, there were many flax mills around the country and the marketing of this product has given Linenhall Street its name.
Ballymoney’s functions include; commercial centre, industrial town, market town, focus of routes, recreational centre and educational centre.
There are three main urban land use zones:-
(a) The CBD with banks, shops etc.
(b) An inner area of older housing e.g. Townhead Street. Some of this older housing has been removed or renovated and includes a large amount of terrace housing.
(c) The suburbs – an outer area of privately or rented newer housing which is mainly detached/semi detached.
What I expect to find
Ballymoney is a small rural town so it doesn’t have multi-story buildings a 21st century compound with numerous shops under one roof (e.g. FairHill Shopping Centre Ballymena). This is because there isn’t sufficient space in the CBD for a complex like this, it also faces competition from Coleraine and Ballymena as they are larger towns and have several retail parks and shopping complexes. For Ballymoney to attempt to build something of this extent would cost a great deal of money and space and there isn’t enough demand. I did expect to find many shops and services and offices in the CBD but I don’t think there will be many medical facilities, warehouses or residential areas.