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‘Landmark superstore’ part of £54m Omagh Gateway plans

A LANDMARK foodstore close to the Strule Education Campus is being planned as part of a £54 million development by a Scottish-based company.

Urban Pulse, which was recently identified as the firm behind the project to develop a £21 million housing development on the site of the Sacred Heart College, is also involved in an even bigger ‘Strule Riverside’ plan.

Among the amenities proposed to be included are retail premises, a primary healthcare facility, leisure and hotel amenities as well as what it describes as ‘other uses.’

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But Retail NI has this week urged caution on the development and said it plans to discuss the plans with members of Omagh Chamber of Commerce.

Last month, Urban Pulse sought planning permission for the erection of business support units for light industrial use, storage and distribution areas with associated car parking, landscaping and ancillary site works.

This latest application is currently being considered by planning officials from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, who received it on June 26.

According to the company, it has been submitted in order to provide ‘more modern’ business support units than those previously approved in 2011 on foot of outline planning permission originally granted for the project 11 years ago.

“There is now a need to provide updated and modernised units to meet the needs of prospective future tenants,” the company says in its application.

In a promotion segment on its website, Urban Pulse directly links the so-called ‘Omagh Gateway’ development to the Strule Education Campus and the Strathroy Link Road, which is expected to be completed later this year.

Omagh is described by the company as a key catchment that acts as a ‘gateway to the west’ and adds that the new link road will provide ‘unparalleled access’ to the town centre as well as the ‘surrounding catchment’.

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“In access of 300,000 square foot strategic mixed-use site anchored by major superstore situated adjacent to one of Europe’s largest proposed ‘superschools campus’ at Strule,” the company adds.

“Upon a gateway location on the newly approved A5 route to Belfast and Dublin from the West of Ireland, this site also benefits from a large regional demographic.

Speaking to the UH, Glyn Roberts, said it was important to ‘safeguard’ the progress that had been made by retail outlets in Omagh.

“Our intention is to take a closer look at this application and its potential implications for Omagh town centre, which has been going from strength to strength in recent years.

“We have always promoted and had a preference for a ‘town centre first’ approach to retail and policies have made it more difficult for large out-of-town proposals such as this to get the go-ahead.”

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