Chamber opposes Carnbane development

June 2, 2009

Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade has registered its opposition to the proposed retail development at Carnbane Way, on the outskirts of the city.

President Mary Doran said the development would “drain the lifeblood away” from city centre shopping and has called on political representatives to get behind the ‘Save our City’ campaign, recently initiated by city-centre traders.

“Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade is committed to protecting the vitality and viability of Newry city through sustainable development and effective regeneration.  Newry Chamber has been, and continues to be at the forefront of protecting, supporting, promoting the development of Newry city centre as a major commercial hub on the island of Ireland,” Ms Doran said.

“The proposed mixed use development at Carnbane Way includes a major retail superstore, which would have devastating consequences for the future vitality and vibrancy of Newry city centre.  It will undoubtedly drain the lifeblood away from tradition shopping precincts, such as Hill Street and Monaghan Street; which are already suffering as a result of the global recession.”

Ms Doran says if the development goes ahead, it will lead to the widespread closure of independent retail stores and long established family owned businesses, “creating mass unemployment and a deserted and derelict city centre.” 

“There are numerous case studies of cities and towns across the UK and Ireland which have been decimated by similar developments; we cannot allow this to happen to our city,” she added.   

“Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade is disappointed at Newry & Mourne District Council’s decision to support the proposal for the development at Carnbane Way. I would draw attention the ‘Save Our City’ campaign, which secured over 200 signatures from local businesses and over 3,000 signatures from local citizens opposed to this development.  I would urge our political representatives to take on board these important views of the local electorate.”

President Doran added, “The precedent this development will set for further ‘out of town’ retail development in Newry will gravely jeopardise major investment currently planned for the city centre, including the planned expansions of the Buttercrane and The Quays shopping centres, with a combined investment valued at almost £400million; neutering the prospect of job creation that this investment would create.

“Newry Chamber has identified over 100 acres of development opportunity sites within the city centre boundary.  In accordance, with the defined limit of Newry city centre, Newry Chamber advocates that land within this limit is the only consideration for the location of retail development.  Newry Chamber therefore expects the DoENI Planning Service to apply stringent and rigorous testing of the development potential of these Opportunity Sites, in line with prevailing regional retail planning policy.”

 Public meeting

The Chamber will host a public meeting to discuss the threat out-of-town retail developments pose for Newry city centre.  This event will take place on Tuesday 2nd June at 7.30pm in The Treasury Room, The Bank Bar and Bistro, Trevor Hill, Newry.  Members of the public and the Newry business community are encouraged to attend this extremely important meeting for the future of Newry.