Carnbane development is a ‘ridiculous idea’
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Newry businessman, Declan McChesney, who is involved with the Newry First campaign, has called the proposed development at Carnbane a "ridiculous idea" which if it goes ahead, will be "at a cost to the heart of Newry."
Mr McChesney, whose shop on Hill Street has traded there for 140 years explained the aim of the campaign.
“We are planning to show the people of Newry what is going on - that some inept decisions are being made.
“We will ensure that people receive all the information they need to make an informed opinion about the threat that this out of town development possesses," he said.
“The Newry First campaigners will continue to lobby our politicians to have this planning decision reviewed. We will continue to highlight to local citizens the false claims from the developer regarding job creation - this development will not bring new jobs to the area, it will create a net job loss, job displacement at best."
Mr McChesney is adamant that the proposed development will not only damage the heart of the town but is simply not necessary.
“For years and years we have watched from America to Europe to Northern Ireland what has happened with outskirts development going on. We have ended up by seeing the devastation of towns and city centres with rattling shutters and no life or no centre at the heart of them." he said.
“This is reprehensible to Newry First and we are campaigning to ensure that this doesn't come to fruition. There is no need for the 70 small business units. There are a number of units in the WIN industrial estate unoccupied despite the fact that they are on a monthly peppercorn rent," he continued.
Mr McChesney also pointed out that, in previous years, it has been proven that it is possible to keep business in the centre of the town and that this can be achieved again.
“Many years ago, Newry got it together and brought the Buttercrane and the Quays into the centre of town and kept Newry vibrant by bringing investment in. That did not happen by a miracle. The Chamber of Trade which is now the Chamber of Commerce and Trade fought tooth and nail through the courts, at our own expense, to keep them in town," he said.
"Along came the recession and all the multiples who came galloping in to make hay while the sun shone galloped straight back out of town but we kept the heart alive - we kept it going and now there are a lot of spaces left in the centre of the town but we continue to trade," he added.
The businessman also outlined that, within the town, there exists sufficient space to build without giving the green light to an out of town development.
“Despite the fact that we have 70 acres of development land within the City Centre and despite the fact that there are extensions planned for Quays and the Buttercrane along with a new development planned for Greenbank, Planning Service has erroneously recommended to grant planning permission to a major out of town development at Carnbane.
“Morally this should be stopped never mind business wise."
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