Carnbane project planning gets under way

June 23, 2014

The company behind the multi-million Carnbane Way project has begun planning the work phases of the scheme despite fierce opposition from Newry Chamber of Commerce and Sinn Fein, who have called for a Stormont debate into the granting of planning permission for the out of town, mixed use development which is set to be composed of a retail foodstore, 70 business units, housing and landscaping.

Sinn Féin is vehemently opposed to the project – a stance which has been articulated by MP Conor Murphy as well as Sinn Fein councillors on Newry & Mourne District Council who last week voted to issue a letter to Mark Durkan stating that the project does not have council support.

In an effort to progress the campaign against the development, Newry Sinn Féin representative Mickey Brady last week requested that the Assembly Business Committee table an Adjournment Debate on the topic and submitted a question directly to the Environment Minister.

Explaining this course of action Mr Brady said;

“Sinn Féin believes that this development is bad for Newry, a view supported by Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade.  We think that if it goes ahead it will simply displace jobs currently located within the town.  In addition the space currently exists within the parameters of Newry to house all of the proposed development so I think that these alternative options should be examined.”

Developers Hill Partnership maintain that the Minister has put in place “a platform for the long-term economic expansion of Newry through his support for what is a hugely significant economic boost for the city and the wider area” said Neil Armstrong of the Hill Partnership.

“We are committed to Newry and its environs; committed to seeing it grow and committed to helping it realise its full potential as a major economic region not just in Northern Ireland but on the island as a whole.

Mr Armstrong said the development will create hundreds of jobs both during construction and afterwards generating some £7.1m in wages during the building phase and around £6.9 million thereafter, “going back into the local economy and spent in local businesses.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the level of genuine support we have received and are determined to honour the application we have made and which has been passed.

Newry Chamber have reiterated their opposition to the project, with Chief Executive Orla Jackson revealing the group are exploring options to have the planning decision reviewed.