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Retail NI, Newry Chamber and Newry BID Urge Council to Reject Carnbane Out of Town Retail Application

Retail NI, Newry Chamber of Commerce and Newry Business Improvement District have urged Newry, Mourne and Down Council to reject the proposed out of town retail application in Carnbane. The Council will consider the planning application tomorrow, 13th November.

This application, combined with the retail floor space of the food superstore, amounts to an eye-watering 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. 

 Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

 “This out of town retail application is one of the biggest ever and is in fact larger than Sprucefield”

 ‘It would be a competing city centre, drawing away jobs, retailers, hospitality, shoppers and would cause incalculable damage to Newry City Centre. It would have a retail impact to Newry City Centre of nearly 30% and is completely contrary to the town centre planning policy and the local development plan”

 “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”

 “Out of town retail is the past, not the future, of the sector and we urge Councillors to stand with Newry City centre traders”

 Newry Chamber Chief Executive Colm Shannon said:

 “Newry is a forward and progressive city with a variety of businesses that have served the needs of the people of Newry for generations. Our city centre has benefited from recent private sector investment and together with the Council’s regeneration plans for the city centre, has provided a real boost in confidence for businesses and the people of Newry”

 “Approving the development at Carnbane will undermine the future of our city centre, threaten the viability of retail businesses in the city and impact on local communities that benefit from easy access to these businesses”

 Eamonn Connolly, Managing Director of the Newry BID said:

“High Streets are universally under pressure and Newry is no different. The recent report by Ulster Bank and RICS confirms the challenges filling retail space and Newry BID’s work with Lambert Smith Hampton proves Newry does not have the capacity or demand for this new proposal”

“The BID has worked hard to ameliorate existing vacancy rates and to ensure the centre of Newry maintains its place at the heart of our local community. We believe the scale of the proposed development only reaffirms that Newry is not big enough for two cities. It is at odds with the Council’s own strategy to regenerate the centre of Newry. The BID fully supports the planning officers’ recommendation of a decline and trusts that Councillors will listen to local business”

 

Glyn Roberts 07515710517