The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) and Derry City Centre Traders Forum have welcomed the decisions by environment minister Alex Attwood to reject a number of out of town superstore applications in the city.
In a joint statement NIIRTA chief executive Glyn Roberts and Derry Traders Forum Chairman Martin McCrossan said: “Both our organisations welcome these decisions by Minister Attwood and appreciate that he has listened to the genuine concerns of our members in Derry/Londonderry.
“Minister Attwood has made the right decisions for both Derry and its city centre. If these out of town superstores had have been given planning permission then they would have closed even more city centre retailers, taken trade away and resulted in a net loss of jobs for the city. We are not anti multiple superstores – we are anti out of town.
“We want to see these stores in the city centre where they will add to the retail offer of Derry. In the New Year both our organisations will be stepping up our campaign to get Derry/Londonderry, designated Northern Irelands first Enterprise Zone to spearhead regeneration in the city and support the One Plan and on-going work of ILEX.
“We also need a comprehensive shop vacancy strategy and a new retail development strategy to address dereliction and support the next generation of retail entrepreneurs.”