RESPONSES of support and opposition to the new out of town development at the former Unipork site on Factory Road, Enniskillen have been flooding into the Northern Ireland Planning Portal despite the consultation period ending three weeks ago on September 3.

There have been more than 300 responses sent to the planning department at Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on the proposed development.

The consultation process on the new retail development for Enniskillen has been ongoing since December, 2019.

A Council spokesperson said: “In line with its requirements for the processing of planning applications, the Council will accept and must consider all representations up until a planning decision is issued.

“While the Council requests that any comments are made within two weeks, it accepts all comments outside that date.

“All representations are available to view on the NI Planning Portal via PublicAccess under the comments, public comments, section or the Documents, Representations, section.

“The planning application is currently under consideration. As this is a major planning application, it will be decided by the Planning Committee. A recommendation will be made when all information has been received and fully considered.”

In total, there have been 330 representations received by the planning department on the issue. There have been 33 new responses in the time frame after the public consultation closed on September 3. Fermanagh Lakeland Development have pushed for further letters of support.

According to the Planning Portal, there have been 122 objections to the new site, and 207 letters of support.

One letter of objections came from Enniskillen Business Partnership (EBP), a local business collective whose members work together to improve the area in which they trade.

In the collective’s letter dated March 24, it alleges that The Range homeware shop was in “advanced negotiations with the owners of Station Green to rent a space at this location”. Station Green is the proposed retail park at Holyhill car park.

Letters of support from residents across Fermanagh welcomed the decision. One private individual from Maguiresbridge said: “Should be great employment opportunity for a lot of people, but also broaden the selection of retail sites. Unsure if another hotel is needed, but giving the cinema a bit of competition certainly can’t hurt.”

The proposed retail park is due to have 12 units in it, including six retail units. Four of these retail units are currently listed as vacant on the website of the Lakeland Retail and Leisure Park.

The largest unit, at 3,522sq m, has a tenant in The Range.

While the final retail unit is “under offer” according to the website, the 1,057sq m unit designated for a soft play area is also currently vacant.

A self-service filling station, coffee pod, drive-through restaurant, and hotel are also listed as “under offer”.