Department finalising Enniskillen development decision

NEWS on the future of the proposed retail and leisure development at the old Unipork site in Enniskillen is expected soon.
Last summer the Department of Infrastructure (DfI) placed what is known as a ‘holding order’ on the decision by the local council planning committee to give the green light to the proposed multi-million pound development, plans for which include shops, a bowling alley, a hotel and cinema.
This holding order prevented elected members from signing off on the planning permission for the development until the Department had conducted a review. When contacted by the ‘Herald, a spokesman for DfI said it was now in the ‘final stages’ of this review.
“The Department is currently finalising its consideration as to whether or not application LA10/2019/1392/F should be referred to it for determination and hopes to provide a response to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in relation to this matter as soon as possible,” said the spokesman.
“Until then the ‘holding’ direction issued to the council on 24 June, 2021 will remain in place.”
The proposed development at the old Unipork site, which is current vacant and has become a hotspot for fly tipping and littering, would be built by the Curran family from Tyrone and includes plans for a drive-through coffee shop, retail giant The Range, as well as a cinema and bowling alley from the Simpson family from Donegal, which owns the Brunswick Moviebowl in Derry.
The councillors’ decision last year to give the development the go-ahead, which came after a close six-to-five vote by the planning committee, was controversial locally.
While there was, and remains, vast support from the majority of the local public for the development, not everyone has been in favour, with opposition particularly strong from business owners in the town centre who believe its location on the Cornagrade Road was too far out of town.
Speaking after the DfI called in the application last year, council chief executive, Alison McCullagh said she was confident the planning application had been dealt with appropriately by the council and that the Department direction on the application was “a matter of formality.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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