Page last updated at 06:42 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Announcement on Sprucefield plans

By Kevin Magee
BBC NI business correspondent

John Lewis store
An announcement is due on the John Lewis planning application

A announcement is expected on the future of a major planning application at Sprucefield on the outskirts of Lisburn, County Antrim.

The current application, re-submitted after a series of objections, consists of a John Lewis department store, and units for 19 other outlets.

Planning approval was originally sought for the store more than four years ago.

The developer has taken the unusual step of requesting a public inquiry be heard into the application.

It is understood the John Lewis chain feels this would ensure any outstanding objections could be dealt with in an open forum in line with planning policy.

According to the developers the proposed development, if given the go-ahead, would cost £150m to build and generate a total of 2,000 new jobs - including 700 of them in John Lewis and more than 500 during the construction phase.

The proposed development has been dogged by controversy since it was first submitted four years ago.

It has been opposed by traders in Lisburn, Belfast, Banbridge and Craigavon.

They feared their town centres would be damaged by the number of additional retail units attached to the John Lewis application.



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SEE ALSO
John Lewis application unveiled
28 Aug 08 |  Northern Ireland
Developers revise John Lewis plan
25 Jul 07 |  Northern Ireland
New review over John Lewis store
05 Jun 07 |  Northern Ireland
Green light for John Lewis store
23 Mar 07 |  Northern Ireland

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