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Newry Chamber Slams DoE Minister’s Decision on Out of Town Development


Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Association (NIIRTA) has described as bitterly disappointing and utterly absurd the decision of DOE Minister Durkan to give full planning permission to a major out of town development including a food super outside Newry.


Despite opposition to the proposed development from Newry and Mourne District Council, Newry Chamber of Commerce, Newry City Centre Management and NIIRTA and 1,200 local citizens in a Newry First petition, the Minister gave the notification today that he is to grant full planning permission.


Deborah Loughran, President of Newry Chamber of Commerce and NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:


“We are deeply disappointed that the Minister has chosen to press ahead with this development despite opposition on the grounds that it would have a devastating impact on Newry City Centre.


“On a recent visit to Newry by Minister Durkan, we pointed out alternative City Centre sites with existing planning which could facilitate this development.  We also highlighted the potential loss of investment and thousands of jobs at sites that won’t go ahead if Carnbane proceeds.  We also discussed the job displacement and the fact that this planning application acknowledges that there will be no linked trips between this site and the City Centre. We put forward a sensible compromise of this application being referred to the Planning Appeals Commission for a second opinion. Minister Durkan has rejected the City Centre sites, the impact on Newry City Centre and the option of a second opinion by taking this decision”.


“As the Minister has totally rejected any compromise, we have no choice but to consider seeking a Judicial Review”


‘It was not long ago both the Minister and his party were championing a Town Centre First approach to large retail applications. Why in a matter of months has he done two policy U-turns, one in Strabane and now Newry? Where next? The SDLP Minister’s commitment to small businesses and town centres seems hollow and is clearly at odds with his own Party’s predecessor in the same Ministerial office.