Sprucefield development gets go-ahead
Published on Fri, 23 Mar 2007
Environment Minister David Cairns has announced his intention to grant planning permission for a major retail development at Sprucefield.
An earlier decision by Lord Rooker to approve had been set aside by the Courts, following a judicial review of the decision. This meant that a new decision had to be made.
David Cairns said: “This is more good news for Northern Ireland following the decision by IKEA to locate here last year.
The development will bring considerable economic and social benefits, including 2000 new jobs and increased choice for shoppers in Northern Ireland. It represents £100 million worth of new investment.
This will allow Sprucefield to develop its regional role and to fully exploit its strategic location as a hub of the transportation network.”
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.
The application is for open unrestricted class A1 retail consent allowing a full range of goods to be traded from this location.
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.
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.
The original decision by Lord Rooker was quashed following a judicial review and the Department was required to re-determine the application.
Further environmental information and information to address matters raised by the court was received in December 2006 and was subject to a round of further consultation. Further objections were received and were considered.
The proposal will result in £100m of investment and approximately 2,000 jobs.
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.