Business

Newry council urged to reject Carnbane out of town retail application

Newry Chamber chief executive Colm Shannon
Gary McDonald Business Editor

OPPONENTS of a major out-of-town retail complex near Newry, which they claim is even bigger than Sprucefield, are urging the local council to reject the application when it comes up for discussion on Wednesday.

The £50m development at Carnbane, which would create more than 400 jobs, is being proposed by the Hill Partnership, a family-owned business run by Laurence Breen and his son Eamon.

But Retail NI, Newry Chamber of Commerce and Newry Business Improvement District have called on Newry, Mourne and Down Council to say no to the scheme, which amounts to a whopping 245,000 sq feet of retail floor space (not including restaurants and cafés).

Retail NI head Glyn Roberts said: “This scheme would be a competing city centre, drawing away jobs, retailers, hospitality, shoppers and would cause incalculable damage to Newry city centre, taking away nearly 30 per cent of its trade.

“It is completely contrary to the town centre planning policy and the local development plan”

“Should the council vote in favour, it would make a mockery of the entire planning regime, policy and their own plan for the city centre.

“If local Councillors are committed to seeing a vibrant 21st century Newry city centre then they must oppose this job-threatening application.”

Newry Chamber chief executive Colm Shannon said: “Newry is a progressive city with a variety of businesses that have served the needs of local people for generations.

“Our city centre has benefited from recent private sector investment, and together with the Council's regeneration plans for the city centre, has given a real boost in confidence for businesses and the people of Newry.

“Approving this development will undermine the future of our city centre, threaten the viability of retail businesses in the city and impact on local communities that benefit from easy access to these businesses.”

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