Belfast Telegraph

Major store plan rejected by Poots, as expected

By Margaret Canning

Environment Minister Edwin Poots has turned down a planning application to build a food superstore outside Lisburn.

The application lodged by developers Wildrose (Magheralave) referred to a site on the Magheralave Road outside the city.

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said Minister Edwin Poots had agreed with the recommendation of planners to refuse planning permission.

Speculation had linked supermarket giant ASDA to the site, but a spokeswoman said the company was not involved in the application for the 86,000 square feet store. She said ASDA was interested in opening a store in the city, though not in the Magheralave Road location.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association said the refusal of the application was “good news for Lisburn city centre”.

Chief executive Glyn Roberts said: “Environment Minister Edwin Poots has made the right decision to reject this proposed superstore as it was a clear threat to the vitality of Lisburn city centre.

“It would also have resulted in a net loss of jobs within existing retailers in the city centre who would have been unable to compete with such an unsustainable out of town store.”

DUP councillor Paul Givan also welcomed the refusal. “From the outset I have opposed this application as it would have created a food superstore larger than the existing Tesco store in Lisburn, in what will be a residential housing area.

“This site is completely inappropriate and the application was made without any community consultation or any approach by the applicant being made towards Lisburn City Council.”

Belfast Telegraph