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Friday, 23 February, 2001, 12:58 GMT
Disputed shopping complex go ahead
Court ruling follows long-running planning application saga
Court ruling follows long-running planning application saga
A controversial 80m development in east Belfast has been given the go ahead.

An Appeal Court judgement on Friday cleared the way for a retail and leisure complex to be built on a 54 acre site, known as D5, on Belfast's Harbour Estate.

It is expected to be Northern Ireland's biggest ever retail development.

The three judges unanimously upheld an appeal by developers Anglia and General against last September's High Court decision quashing planning permission.

Long dispute

This is the latest development in a long-running saga which has seen planning permission granted twice, and then rescinded.

The project was given the go-ahead by the Department of Environment, but that was overturned in July 1999, following a legal challenge by Belfast City Council and the Chamber of Trade.

But following a re-application by the developers, the then economic development minister George Howarth re-granted permission during the brief period when the assembly was suspended in February 2000, before that decision was overturned at the High Court.

Belfast City Council and the Chamber of Trade feel the project will hit retailers and destroy jobs in existing shopping centres.

Concern has also been expressed about the possible adverse impact on the vitality of local shopping areas in Holywood, Connswater and Dundonald.

The D5 developers say that the complex will provide employment for 1,200 people.

It is expected to include a food superstore, retail warehouses and a leisure complex containing an 18-screen cinema.

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01 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Judge axes 80m shopping complex
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