Plans by Lidl to enlarge a store in east Belfast and move closer to the beleagured Connswater Shopping Centre are set to go-ahead despite a recommendation for refusal from planners.
The City Council has agreed the application by the discount retailer in a move seen as throwing a lifeline to the centre which has been struggling since the loss of former tenants Tesco and Dunnes.
“Lidl welcomes the positive recommendation from Belfast City Council regarding a new development at Connswater,” said a spokesman for the company which currently operates close to 40 stores in the province.
“Lidl believes that the new development will greatly enhance the shopping experience in the Connswater area and we look forward to this exciting redevelopment.
“We would like to thank the Connswater Traders Association, and our Connswater customers, for their ongoing support and we look forward to working with them over the coming months.”
Planners had previously indicated that the application to move to the larger premises contravened current guidelines.
It later said it had changed its view on receipt of further legal advice.
Councillor David Armitage was delighted.
“While some still saw fit to argue against the application, hopefully the years of struggling for Connswater are now over and the local community can look forward a revived period for the centre.”