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New Council’s economic powers

Do date the transfer of planning powers has grabbed most of the headlines in relation to the establishment of a Newry and Mourne and Down District Council. However the new authority one of 11 that will replace the existing 26 will also have significant economic powers according to a local business leader. Dr Conor Patterson the CEO of  the Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency has said that the new council will be responsible for the ‘Place Making of Newry.’ “The transfer of urban regeneration and community development powers from DSD are very significant,” he said. “This will include all the E1 schemes (eg Hill Street, Canal walkways) as well as assets like North Street. The new council will also have compulsory purchase powers. They can intervene and do significant works in terms of place making. You will have new staff in new positions with new powers in a very large area. There will be a framework laid down (by government) but there will be a lot of latitude within that. In terms of business development the demarcation of powers such as business start up goes to council so they evaluate who gets the contract. Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency currently has the contract for delivering Invest NI’s Business Start up programme.


Newry Reporter

26th March 2014