News

New superstore on the cards for Omagh

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A NEW superstore is on the cards for the former Scott's Mill site on the Mountjoy Road in Omagh town centre.

Planning go-ahead has been recommended for the erection of a superstore with associated car parking, service yard, access arrangements, landscaping and associated general site works. Fane Valley Feeds has submitted the application.

The decision, which is set to be ratified at today's (Wednesday) Fermanagh and Omagh District Council planning committee meeting, has been welcomed by West Tyrone MLA., Tom Buchanan, and Omagh town councillor, Chris Smyth.

David Garrett, managing director of Fane Valley Feeds, said the development would be a "huge injection into the economy of Omagh".

He added: "We look forward to that area of the town being substantially improved. It needs regeneration. This development can help lift that part of Omagh out of the doldrums. It's dead at the moment and it's going to be worse when the Health Centre closes.

"At this stage, the application is for a retail development. Subject to plans being approved, then an anchor tenant will be sought."

Mr Garrett said that a "significant number of jobs would be created" for the construction of such a store.

He also said subject to planning, construction would start quite quickly.

The application has been amended during its processing of the application. It was initially for the erection of a superstore with a floor area of 5,344sqm. It has been reduced to 4,800sqm to facilitate a third access point off the Mountjoy Road.

The new building as planned is a single storey rectangular shape and will sit immediately to the rear of the Social Services Building and County Hall.

The parking area is between the new building and the river and there are three accesses proposed. The existing access at County Hall will be altered and will serve the site and County Hall. The existing entrance into the Scott's Mill site will be altered and allow access and exit onto the Mountjoy Road. There is also a service entrance and exit for HGV lorries along the concrete lane between the Social Services building and the adjacent vacant factory premises. In total, 342 parking spaces are being provided to serve the new store and County Hall.

The existing car park layout at County Hall will be changed and integrated into a new parking layout for the overall site. There will be no change to County Hall which remains a central government office.

Mr Smyth said 'at least' 200 jobs would be created when the superstore is completed. "It is good news for the community and a positive development for the area," he added.

Mr Buchanan said the development of this "strategically important site" will not only help to enhance the town centre but will also be a "great boost to the ongoing economic development of Omagh with the potential to create many new employment opportunities".

He added: "This site has been lying vacant now for almost 14 years and despite previous developers seeking planning permissions, having had many obstacles set in their way, they walked away from it.

"However, having worked with developers, planning service and other agencies over the years on this site, I am glad to see approval being granted for this retail development project. This is another good news story and huge investment for Omagh and I look forward to works commencing on the site."

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