New plans for a major expansion at Sprucefield Retail Park near Lisburn which was site of failed John Lewis superstore bid

The Sprucefield site near Lisburn. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEyeThe Sprucefield site near Lisburn. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
The Sprucefield site near Lisburn. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Plans for a major expansion of Lisburn’s Sprucefield Retail Park, which was the site for the controversial failed John Lewis superstore project, are to be made public early next month.

A pre-application notice has gone through Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council planning committee this week.

The proposed extension to Sprucefield Park includes new retail warehouse units, a hotel, restaurant and car parking.

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The Local Democracy Service contacted the Sprucefield consultancy firm, ‘MCE’ for further information on the businesses involved in the new expansion.

A spokesperson replied, “at this early stage we can’t give details on this”.

However, in November 2022, discount grocery giant Lidl launched its own public consultation for a new store at the Sprucefield Retail Park.

In 2019, the retail park was bought over by the real estate investment trust ‘NewRiver’ for £40m.The proposed plans by NewRiver would add considerable commercial space to the retail park of over five hectares.

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The Sprucefield location had previously been at the centre of the long running application by home-ware giants John Lewis over a decade ago.

However it was withdrawn due to concerns which were raised over out of town shopping and its possible affect on town centre businesses in Lisburn.

At the time the plans were said to be part of a wider £150m investment by one of the UK’s biggest retailers making its first step into the Northern Ireland economy.

The John Lewis application became a matter for Stormont to consider, but ended with the withdrawal by the company in 2013. Planning decisions are now in the hands of the local authority.

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Speaking about the new proposals a Lisburn and Castlereagh City council officer said: “An in person drop in event will take place at the B&Q entrance, Sprucefield Park, Sprucefield Roundabout on Wednesday 4 October from 1pm – 7 pm.

“An online information event via website will also take place from Monday 2 October to Friday 20 October (”