Lidl is set to build a new supermarket and café on a site in Dungannon which has been vacant for almost 40 years.
The German retailer has submitted an application to Mid Ulster District Council proposing to develop a brownfield site on Ann Street, close to the centre of the Co Tyrone town.
Subject to planning approval, it will see the grocer move from its existing location on John Street to a modern concept build supermarket on 4.5 acres at Ann Street.
The failure to develop the site close to Dungannon’s Market Square, has caused years of frustration in the Co Tyrone town.
Rows of shops and houses on the street were demolished in 1984, with a new Dunnes Stores supermarket among a number of ill-fated projects connected to the site down the years.
The site was sold for £3 million in 2007 just before the property market collapsed.
Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council later acquired it for £575,000 in 2014.
Three years later, Mid Ulster District Council brought in Lisney to help find a developer to take a long lease and regenerate the site, seen as a gateway between the west of the town and its retail core.
Moorefield Contracts was selected as the company to regenerate the site the following year.
The Co Armagh firm announced plans for a £10m mixed scheme in November 2018, which included a new hotel, retail units, car parking and new public realm.
But the project stalled, causing more frustration among Dungannon’s traders and residents.
The Irish News can now reveal that Lidl has stepped in with a new proposal to finally develop the vacant site.
In a departure from its standard store projects, Lidl is proposing a café as part of the new build scheme.
While the plans are at an early stage, the café is mentioned in the supermarket chain’s proposal of application notice (PAN), required for all major planning applications.
The proposal also refers to new public realm works and car parking.
The PAN process will see Lidl consult the public, with an event scheduled to take place at its John Street store on the evening of February 13 2024.
A full planning application is expected to follow next year.
Lidl’s Dungannon proposal comes just weeks after it announced plans to replace its Cookstown store, which opened in 1999 as its first on the island of Ireland.
The retailer has already replaced its Omagh and Strabane outlets with new concept stores.