PLANNING permission is being sought for a new state-of-the-art retail-led development for Donegal Town centre in the coming months which will cost in excess of €10million to develop and will bring a boost of 400 jobs to the area.
The proposed development at Milltown less than 500 metres from the Diamond, located on the site occupied by the former picture framing and moulding company owned by the Timoney family, is ready to go to planning and an application will be lodged with Donegal County Council by the end of September next.
It would consist of approximately 50,000 sq/ft of floor space comprising of a supermarket of 25,000 sq/ft and the remainder of the facility would be tailored for retail units, coffee shops, 200 car-parking spaces and other suitable businesses as appropriate.
A spokesperson for developer, Railway Road Trading Ltd, a private Company owned by the McCann family from Belfast, has said he believes the project will provide an injection of confidence to the local economy and have a very positive impact on the business environment in the town and its significant hinterland.
The most recent draft local area plan for Donegal Town (2018 – 2024) has identified the land in question as an ‘Opportunity Site’. It is zoned suitable for retail or commercial use. The draft local area plan also cites that “it is an objective of the Council to explore opportunities for the provision of additional public car parking to service the town centre”.
If granted planning permission, the project could begin construction in spring 2019 with a completion date of summer 2020 envisaged. Some 250 jobs would be sustained once the development is complete while a further 150 would be created during the 15-month construction phase.
The spokesperson for the developer stated that while the identity of the anchor tenant for the supermarket hasn’t yet been agreed and would obviously be subject to planning being secured, there will be a strong interest from the leading retail brands given the attractiveness of Donegal Town as a strategic location. He added that the company was very keen to work with the local community to deliver a project which would enhance the town and of which people could be proud. Discussions with the planning department of Donegal County Council to date have been very constructive and helpful.