Enniskillen Town fights to keep the town centre alive

Retail sector representatives, existing development site owners from the town centre, Erneside Shopping Centre and individuals who will be effected by the Old Unipork proposed development set out their objections to a planning application for the out of town shopping centre.

The Council will consider the application at its December meeting.

Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Retail NI called on Councillors to stand with family owned independent retailers rather than outside big business. "This application won't complement the existing retail offer, it is in fact a competing town centre which will decimate what is a well established and successful Enniskillen town centre. The scheme is a fragrant breach of the 'town centre first' policy. It beggars belief that such an outdated business model is even being proposed.’

One independent retailer told the meeting, “town centre retailers and Erneside Shopping centre retailers are genuinely fearful that if this application is permitted it will herald the end of Enniskillen town centre, that is the weight of the decision which is under consideration by the Council. To have our objection arrogantly dismissed as ‘shroud waving’ by representatives of the developer is unfortunate and actually quite insulting.

“The retail environment has changed in recent years, even before the Covid pandemic. The application is a relic from the 20th century, it not a positive or sustainable way to develop Enniskillen. We hope Councillors will take that long term view and stand by local businesses. With this decision, they are not just deciding on a planning application, but on the very future of Enniskillen Town Centre.”