March also saw our involvement in a five day long Magherafelt superstore Inquiry for our client Merit Investments.
Merit is proposing a 40,000 sq. ft superstore at Moneymore Road in the town and issues relating to retail impact, traffic and access, noise, landscape and character and amenity matters were all the subject of evidence to the Hearing.
That saw local traders confirm the mainly basket nature of shopping within the town centre.
It also heard of the lack of like for like foodstore offer in Magherafelt town centre and the limited impact the proposed superstore would have on the town centre as a whole.
The bulk of trade to the proposed new store is expected to be diverted from the existing Tesco outside the town centre and from attracting back substantial leakage of expenditure that is presently going to existing food stores in Cookstown.
The Planning Appeals Commission has indicated that it will now work towards having its report of recommendation on the proposed superstore to the DoE Minister before the end of June 2015. We await with interest what that will say and how the DoE Minister will respond.