Planning Portal

John Lewis Gets Green Light

Published on Wed, 1 Jun 2005
Environment Minister Jeff Rooker has announced his intention to grant planning permission for a major development at Sprucefield.
The development is expected to include the John Lewis Department Store as anchor tenant.
Jeff Rooker said: "I am convinced that a decision to approve is in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland. There are very positive economic and social benefits associated with this proposal in the overall public interest. John Lewis is a major name in retailing and its entry into the Northern Ireland retail sector represents further choice for the Northern Ireland consumer and complements the retail experience on offer in other centres.
"I am convinced that this proposal will allow the Sprucefield Regional Shopping Centre to better fulfil its regional role. It is uniquely situated in terms of the strategic transport network and will attract shoppers from a wide geographical area to the broad base of outlets already approved at Sprucefield."

Notes to Editors

The proposal includes:-
a major department store (22,300 square metres) with John Lewis Partnership as anchor tenant;

retailing in 29 smaller units on two floors (26,679 square metres);

restaurants (2,026 square metres);

a five level multi-storey car park for 1,250 cars plus surface level parking;

ancillary infrastructure and landscaping.
  1. The application is for open unrestricted class A1 retail consent allowing a full range of goods to be traded from this location.
  2. The existing retail floorspace at Sprucefield is 47,075 square metres and another 11,395 square metres approved but not built. This approval will create 107,421 square metres of approved floorspace at the centre.
  3. There is support for the proposal including MPs and Lisburn City Council on the grounds that it would have economic benefits in terms of inward investment and job creation.
  4. There is also a considerable number of objections in relation to current regional and operational planning policy, the impact on town and city centres in terms of diversion of trade, traffic congestion, emerging policy in relation to the draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) and the revised draft of retail planning policy and the need for a public inquiry.
  5. The draft BMAP was published in November 2004. DOE is currently considering objections to the plan before requesting a Public Inquiry before the Planning Appeals Commission to consider objections to it.
  6. The draft BMAP has proposed that Sprucefield be allowed to expand to 75,000 square metres of net retail floorspace and additional retail provision should be restricted to bulky comparison goods such as electrical, furniture, home furnishings, DIY and gardening goods and should be set aside for large trading format stores only with a minimum floorspace of 6,000 square metres.
  7. Regional Planning Policy is set out in the Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland and retail planning policy in Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS 5): Retailing & Town Centres. The Department for Regional Development is currently reviewing PPS 5. A draft revision for public consultation has not yet issued.
  8. The planning application was processed under the special arrangements set out in Article 31 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991. Under these arrangements DOE has three options, issue a notice of opinion to refuse, issue a notice of opinion to approve or call a Public Inquiry by the Planning Appeals Commission. In this instance the Ministers decision is to issue a notice of opinion to approve.
  9. Further news media enquiries contact DOE Press Office at 028 9054 0003.
Get Adobe Reader software (link opens in a new browser window)