Business

Plans approved for hotel and apartment complex in Lisburn - but still no John Lewis

Intu has announced £50m plans to transform Lisburn retail park bringing new shops and restaurants as well as an 80-bedroom hotel.

PLANS have been approved for a new 130 room hotel and apartment complex in Lisburn as fresh proposals for a £50 million development at Sprucefield Park have emerged.

Owner Intu has confirmed plans to transform the popular Lisburn retail park, which has long been touted as the location for the first John Lewis store in the north,  bringing new shops and restaurants as well as an 80-bedroom hotel. 

The developers have said the proposed £50m investment would create more than 200 construction jobs and another 300 retail jobs if it comes to fruition.

The plans include the creation of a new retail terrace consisting of 13 units and five food and beverage outlets, in addition to the hotel. None of the proposed shop space would be big enough for a John Lewis store.

Development director at Intu, Martin Breeden, said there is already interest in the retail park.

“We want to transform an under-utilised retail park into an exciting place to shop, eat and relax. The location is perfect, and we already have interest from quality retailers," Mr Breeden said.

"Our plans will create hundreds of jobs for local people, complement the existing offer in Lisburn and turn Sprucefield Park into a flourishing retail location, attracting more people.”

A community consultation on the plans is set to take place shortly, with a planning application then to follow.

The multi-million proposals to transform Sprucefield Park come as the council has given the green light for a new 'apart-hotel' in Lisburn Leisure Park.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s planning committee approved the plans yesterday morning at its monthly meeting, paving the way for construction to start this year.

The plans from Ebony Developments, headed by Joe Tumelty, who is also a director of Lisburn Bowl, comprise 70 bedrooms and 60 apartment suites as well as associated parking and road improvements to Governors Road.

The development at the 4.67 hectare site is to be six storeys high at its northern point adjacent to the roundabout at Governors Road, dropping to four storeys at its southern point adjacent to the Omniplex cinema.

Planning committee chair, councillor Luke Poots said they were delighted to approve the plans, which were first proposed 10 years ago.

"I welcome the decision to approve this application and I recognise that a considerable amount of work and effort has been undertaken to achieve this positive result," Mr Poots said.

“The provision of additional bed spaces will open up exciting opportunities for our city centre, attracting overnight visitors and additional spend in our council area and is an example of how planning decisions taken at a local level can have a real benefit to local businesses and residents. I am particularly pleased that this scheme will also include self-catering apartments attached to it making it attractive for contractors to stay in our city whilst working on local projects."

“This new development will bring new jobs and new opportunities, both directly and indirectly, for many supporting industries and we welcome the developers decision to invest here in Lisburn,” he added.

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