Chamber to seek Judicial Review over green light for £47m development
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
NEWRY Chamber of Commerce are considering seeking a Judicial Review after Environment Minister Mark H Durkan stood by his decision to grant full planning permission for a £47m retail development on the outskirts of Newry.
The Minister gave the green light for the huge project at Carnbane Way in May, but the Chamber had hoped to persuade him to reverse his decision when they met him in Newry last month.
But last week Mr Durkan told the Chamber he was sticking to his original decision and rejecting the Chamber's proposed compromises - a move described as "absurd" by Chamber president Deborah Loughran.
In a joint statement, Ms Loughran and NIIRTA Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts, said: "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 has given notification that he is to grant full planning permission.
“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."
The Carnbane Way development, being undertaken by The Hill Partnership, will include a food superstore and 70 industrial/business units.
According to The Hill Partnership, the project will create 750 jobs, including 350 construction jobs that will result in over £7m in wages.
An independent survey carried out by the developers found that almost 96 per cent of people surveyed were in favour of the huge development, with over 82 per cent saying the project will improve competition and lead to cheaper prices.
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