Plans for a new supersized Tesco store in Derry’s Waterside are on the brink of approval.
The go-ahead for the new revamped store - which will double the size of the current Tesco Lisnagelvin outlet and yield up to 130 new jobs - now hinges on agreement over traffic issues, says DUP assemblyman Willie Hay.
“I’ve been working closely with residents, Tesco representatives, the Planning Service and Roads Service to resolve traffic issues at the site.”
He added: “There have been major traffic problems at the current site for years and residents of the area - particularly in Woodburn, Rossdowney, Irish Street and even Altnagelvin have suffered greatly as a result. But while residents are not opposed in any way to the new development they see this as a good opportunity to get the traffic problem resolved once and for all.”
Mr Hay explained that the supermarket giant will have to re-locate for 18 months as the new store is completed. And that will mean a big push for approval of Tesco’s Buncrana Road plans.
Mr Hay added: “I hope for a positive response from the Planning Service on the Buncrana Road application as it will avoid job losses at Lisnagelvin for 15 to 18 months while the new store is under construction.”
Mr Hay said that the new district centre at Lisnagelvin would be a massive boost to the Waterside and Derry.
“You’re talking about an investment of around £40m from Tesco, which is a huge injection into the Waterside. The economics of that is not only good for the Waterside, it’s good for the entire city as well.
“Certainly, I think what it will do is sustain jobs within this particular store for a lifetime to come. Spending that type of money at a time when there is a huge economic downturn has to be good for everybody. There is no doubt about it.”