Derry City Council have deferred a decision on a planning application to build a new Tesco store at the Buncrana Road.
The matter had been due to be discussed at the monthly meeting of the Council’s planning committee but the chair of the committee, SDLP councillor Thomas Conway, proposed deferring the decision after concerns were raised by his party colleague, Gerry Diver.
Colr. Diver said he was concerned that a deputation from Tesco had been added to the agenda for the meeting and expressed fears that allowing them to speak on the matter after the Environment minister said he was minded to refuse the application.
“I am concerned that as a group we could leave ourselves open to other individuals or groups who have had planning applications refused coming in to request a deputation. Where does this put us as a council and could it change the way we act as consultees in the planning process” he asked.
Sinn Féin Colr. Paul Fleming said he did not have a problem with the deputation being allowed to make a presentation. “This issue was put back to Council by the minister and Tesco are looking to avail of that opportunity. I don’t see anything amiss with that,” he said.
DUP alderman Joe Millar also doubted whether it would set a precedent. “If the minister had not sent it back to us we would be setting a precedent but when the minister sent it back to us it is our job to talk about it. Tesco obviously went through the process to come in again because it was sent back,” he said.
Committee chairperson Colr. Conway said more information was need. “I am asking that we this is deferred to seek clarity on the process,” he said.