Green light for massive £40m Tesco redevelopment in Derry
Environment Minister Alex Attwood has given the go-ahead for a massive £40m investment by Tesco to replace Londonderry’s Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre.
Around 200 full and part-time jobs and a further 300 construction jobs are to be created in the complete redevelopment project.
The supermarket giant submitted the plans five years ago, and it is one of two major Tesco applications for the city which have been under consideration by the minister. The second, for a new store at Buncrana Road, was submitted eight years ago.
The company will now go ahead with its plans to double its current footprint of 40,000 sq ft in the Waterside shopping centre. A total of 13 other smaller retail units will be accommodated.
Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre was built over 30 years ago and accommodates a number of other businesses including a Primark, a sports store, cafes and a number of independent retailers.
The new centre will include basement and decked car parking, landscaping, and access works.
No start date has yet been finalised for the project, but once started the construction is expected to take between 18 months and two years.
Speaking on behalf of Tesco, Shane Murphy, property manager, said: “We are delighted that the minister has granted planning permission for the redevelopment of Lisnagelvin District Centre which will bring a massive multi-million pound investment to the area along with high-quality jobs created and secured in both the retail and construction sectors.”
Confirming the planning approval, a spokesman for Mr Attwood’s department said yesterday: “In February 2012 the minister signalled his intention to deal with a range of major planning applications throughout
Northern Ireland. In Derry there are nine applications which propose major new retail floorspace and planning officials have been carefully considering all aspects of these proposals, including the need to protect city centre and established district centres.
“The redevelopment of Lisnagelvin is the first of the nine retail applications the minister is determining as part of this process because it represents the redevelopment of an existing district shopping centre and will allow for extended modern retail facilities at this location.
“The proposal represents investment, jobs and enhanced district shopping facilities for the local population.”
SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey said that the news will have a “huge, beneficial impact” on the Waterside area.
“The jobs that will be created will be a massive boost for the local economy and for local people who are struggling to find stable employment in these difficult times,” Mr Ramsey said.
“I want to wholeheartedly welcome the confidence Tesco have shown in our city and I am sure this news will represent a sustainable boost for customers and workers in the long term.”
DUP MLA William Hay, who has worked to help progress the application since its inception, said: “This is great news for the Waterside and the wider city.
“I have to say Environment Minister Alex Attwood has very much led from the front.”
Sinn Fein Councillor for the Waterside area, Lynn Fleming, added: “The building of this new shopping complex will also give a much needed boost to the local construction industry.
“Tesco has already established itself as a key player within the Waterside community and has also played a key social responsibility role within the city with its (school) initiatives and other socially based programmes.”