Rumours that Tesco had been forced to bow out of Bow Street and shut up its new
Lisburn shop, before it even opened, have been put to bed.
Work on the city centre Tesco Express store came to an unexpected halt some two weeks ago and the rumour mill has since set to grinding out grim explanations.
Talk on the street was of structural problems, eleventh-hour objections and/or city council intervention.
In fact, minor shop front changes in keeping with the Lisburn Conservation Area are to blame for what’s expected to be a short hiatus. Councillor Alexander Redpath was one whose constituents raised concerns about the stoppage.
“Let me assure everyone,” he said, “that there should be no undue delay.
“Bow Street is part of the Lisburn Conservation Area and accordingly developments are subject to certain restrictions. I am informed by the Planning Office that minor amendments had to be made to the plans for the shop frontage. It is anticipated that these revised plans should be accepted without any further difficulty.”
Lisburn City Council’s Economic Development Committee Chairman, Alderman Allan Ewart, said he understood the redevelopment of the new Tesco store would continue as soon as possible.
“I know people are concerned that work has apparently come to a standstill at the Bow Street branch,” he said, “but I have been assured that this is until the Planning Service approve the signage for the shop front.
“This is expected to be approved in the next few days and I am sure Tesco will be keen to finish the refurbishment and have the store open for customers as soon as possible.”
A DOE spokesperson said: “There are two applications on the site which are currently under consideration. The site lies within Lisburn Conservation Area and discussions are currently ongoing between the Department and the agent to address a number of minor design issues.”