Iceland 'give up' on new Derry store due to planning process, says boss

Iceland boss Richard Walker has said the frozen food retailer has decided not to proceed with the development of a new outlet in Derry due to the local planning process.

Iceland boss Richard Walker
Iceland boss Richard Walker

Mr. Walker made the claim in an interview on BBC's Radio 4 on Friday, revealing the supermarket chain will not now be going ahead with a planned new store on the Crescent Link.

"The other thing in terms of getting the government out of the way is local planning so all of these store openings that I walk about have been delayed," he said.

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"In Derry/Londonderry we've actually given up because after two years of trying to apply for planning we are still waiting for a decision and therefore we have walked away. And therefore less bureaucracy, getting government out of the way so that the private sector can get on with its job which is to create jobs and pay tax, I think is a good idea," he added.

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said: "This is deeply disappointing and should be a wake up call to the statutory consultees and all involved in our local planning system.

"The approval of the planning application for the new Iceland Food Warehouse would have brought £1.2million investment to Londonderry, creating 30 new jobs."

The 'Journal' asked Iceland to comment on the decision not to proceed with the new store.