Significant objections have been lodged following plans for the £20m re-development of the former Arntz Belting Company site in the Pennyburn area of Derry.
Local residents have been joined by business interests in the city in objecting to the proposed development.
A planning application for the site, which includes a supermarket and a medical centre, is currently being considered by the Planning Department of Derry City and Strabane District Council. A petrol station, various retail units and a restaurant are also part of the plan.
The future of the 14-acre site made headlines earlier in the year, when the company behind the re-development plans announced that the re-devloped lot had the potential to create around 400 jobs. In July representatives of the company told a meeting of Derry and Strabane District Council that almost £3 million had already been spent on developing the idea.
Robert Moore, former managing director of Arntz, which closed the site in 2010, also told the meeting that the necessary funds to finish the development were ready and waiting for the green light from the planning department .
But critics who see the development as another out of town retail park, have said that the development will have a further negative impact on a city centre which is already coping with decreased footfall and vacant lots. They also say the number of plans for similar projects already under consideration must be taken into account before any further permissions are granted.
The Engineering firm closed down in 2010 with the loss of 115 jobs. The manufacturing company had been operating in Derry since 1968.