Traders get green light to seek judicial review of Carnbane development approval

January 19, 2015

Traders in Newry have been granted leave to seek a judicial review of the Environment Minister’s decision to approve a major commercial and residential development on the outskirts of the city.

In May last year, Minister Mark H Durkan granted planning permission to developers, The Hill Partnership, to build 70 industrial and business units, a supermarket, 14 homes, a coffee shop and associated car parking and landscaping on a site at Carnbane Way.

Opposing the scheme, Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade claimed the development would have a detrimental effect on city centre investment and launched a High Court bid to have it stopped.

This move prompted an angry reaction from the Hill Partnership who accused the Chamber of being “cynically selfish” and placing the city’s economy as a whole in jeopardy.

Lawyers for the Chamber have argued that the scheme conflicts with planning policy dealing with retailing and town centres, and have highlighted the potential impact on the Quays Shopping Centre where a £25m extension, aimed at creating 350 jobs, has already been approved.

However, when granting planning permission, Mr Durkan said he was satisfied the existing city centre retail offering was strong enough to compete with the new development.

Further grounds of challenge include an alleged failure on the part of the developer to comply with the habitats regulations in considering the potential effects of any pollution of Newry river and canal, as the development site straddles the river.

On Thursday the judge ruled the case should proceed to a full, three-day hearing in May.