The proposed development at the old Unipork site in Enniskillen is set to go ahead after the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) withdrew its 'holding' direction.

Planning permission for the £15.5million development of the Lakelands Retail and Leisure Park at the site of the former Unipork factory in Enniskillen was approved by the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Planning Committee after opinion drew level but was decided by the casting vote of the committee Chair.

The development proposal comprises six retail units, a 54-bedroom hotel, cinema, bowling alley, petrol station, food outlet as well as more than 750 parking spaces.

So far, The Range and Moviebowl had confirmed occupancy if permission for the development was granted.

However, planners initially recommended that the application should be refused.

But then the DfI wrote to the Council telling them not to grant planning permission to give it time to consider whether or not the proposed development raises issues that require the application to be referred for further consideration and determination. 

In a letter to the Council, DfI have now said the 'holding' direction is no longer in place and it is not necessary for the application to be 'called in' for determination.

The letter concluded: "Whilst the Department does not require the application to be referred to it for determination, should the Council proceed to approve the application, it may wish to satisfy itself in relation to any outstanding consultee matters and relevant conditions to be attached."

The letter is expected to be discussed at the Council's Planning Committee meeting this evening, Monday, March 28.