Belfast Telegraph

Sprucefield's new owners scrap old plans for retail park

Meeting: Jonathan Craig
Meeting: Jonathan Craig

By Jessica Black

Sprucefield's new owners will scrap existing plans for the retail park, which included a boutique hotel.

The Lisburn site, which is anchored by Sainsbury's and B&Q, sold to UK real estate investment trust NewRiver for £40m late last month.

Under previous owners, Intu, there was approval for an 80-plus room hotel and new shops and restaurants.

Those plans have been scrapped, and a new application won't be lodged until some time next year.

NewRiver director Charles Spooner said the company had begun "working up our own development plans for a new vision".

He added: "Our vision for the park is to increase the leisure offer including more restaurants, drive-thru options, potentially a hotel and some new retail operators together with wider alternative uses."

In a statement, Lisburn and Castlereagh Council said NewRiver had a "very different vision" to that of the site's previous owners.

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Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor Jonathan Craig said: "I think it's a key indicator that we're unlikely to see development from 12 months to two years. At the end of the day it's new owners with new ideas and I look forward to meeting with them and finding out their plans for the site."

Last week he said he had been disappointed by the withdrawal of the earlier application which had been submitted by former owner Intu, as the company had consulted with the public and the council on their plans.

NewRiver owns 25 retail parks and 33 shopping centres across the UK. Lambert Smith Hampton has been appointed as the management and leasing agent on Sprucefield Retail Park, and has said it's hopeful new additions will be announced soon.

NewRiver has an extensive portfolio of retail parks and shopping centres across Great Britain, and Sprucefield Park will be its second site in Northern Ireland.

It already owns the Abbey Centre in Newtownabbey.

Belfast Telegraph