“Newry not big enough for two cities” – Business continues to urge Council to reject Carnbane application

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
Business, Community, News

Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Newry BID and Retail NI will again urge Newry, Mourne and Down Council to reject the proposed out of town retail application in Carnbane.

The Council will once again consider the planning application which is recommended for refusal by Planning Officers on 11 December.

The Council’s own planning consultants’ figures indicate that the proposed scheme will have the highest retail capacity and impact in Northern Ireland.

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This application, combined with the retail floor space of the food superstore, amounts to a total of 22,653 sqm gross retail floor space (243,834.86 sqft) at an out of town location.

 

 

This does not include the restaurants and café, which would also be deemed to be main town centre uses.

To place this in context, the current application at Sprucefield Park (Regional Shopping Centre as per RDS 2035 paragraph 3.41) is for 20,702 sqm gross retail floor space. This figure excludes the restaurants and hotel.

Speaking to Newry Times, Colm Shannon, CEO of Newry Chamber said, “At a time when there is real confidence in the future of Newry City Centre, approving the development at Carnbane will undermine the future of our city centre.

 

 

“The scale of the proposed development will threaten the viability of retail businesses in the city and impact on local communities which benefit from easy access to these businesses.

A retail foodstore is part of the plans. Image: Ostick + Williams

 

“Newry is a forward and progressive city with a variety of businesses that have served the needs of the people of Newry for generations.

“The Council’s own regeneration plans have already stimulated interest in our city centre. Approving the Carnbane proposals will undermine the future vision of a dynamic city centre with a vibrant mix of retail, commercial and leisure to meet the needs of both the day time and night time Newry economy of Newry,” he added.

 

 

Eamonn Connolly, Manager of Newry BID said, “We are objecting to this proposal as its scale would destroy the heart of Newry.

“At a time when town and city centres are under huge pressure, it makes no sense for Councillors to approve a massive development that their own professional officials recommend for refusal for good reason.

 

He added, “We trust Councillors will listen to the local community and acknowledge that Newry is not big enough for two cities.”

Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI said, “This out of town retail application is one of the biggest ever and is in fact larger than Sprucefield.

 

 

“Carnbane would be a completing city centre, drawing away jobs, retailers, hospitality, shoppers and would cause incalculable damage to Newry City Centre.

“It would have a retail impact on Newry City Centre of nearly 30% and is completely contrary to the town centre planning policy and the local development plan.

It is anticpated the new development will create hundreds of jobs in the local construction industry

“Should the Council vote in favour of this application then it would make a mockery of the entire planning regime, policy and their own plan for the City Centre.

“If local Councillors are committed to seeing a vibrant 21st century Newry City Centre then they must oppose this job-threatening application.

He added, “Newry, Mourne and Down Councillors must stand with their local city centre traders and reject this application.”

 

 

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