More than 1,000 new jobs could be created in Newry after Environment Minister Alex Attwood gave planning permission to a major development.
Parma Investments — part of the empire of Irish beef baron Larry Goodman — has been given the green light to build a development including enterprise centre, social housing and a supermarket at a site of his Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) abattoir.
The DoE said the Warrenpoint Road scheme was “anticipated” to create 1,130 new jobs.
Mr Attwood said the multi-million pound development would be a “tremendous boost” for Newry.
“It will bring significant economic and social benefits, including up to 1,130 new jobs, much needed social housing and a new riverside walkway and cycleway. This is especially welcome given the economic downturn.”
He said ABP was looking for a new site in Newry to relocate the abattoir business.
It’s understood there are plans to increase the workforce at the abattoir.
It was not clear yesterday which, if any, supermarket has been approached to open at the scheme. Sainsbury’s already has a store in the city.
No-one from Asda was available for comment on whether the proposed site was attractive to it.
Tesco has started work on a site on Downshire Road at the other side of Newry.
It’s understood traders in the city centre have not objected due to the new scheme’s relative closeness to the centre.
One observer, who did not want to be named, said: “The fact that the development is in town is of benefit.
“If there is any development planned or starting, it has to be positive in such a time of little development.
“In terms of the impact on the historic retail part of Newry, the jury would be out until the full scheme is clear.”
SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said he had met Parma Investments, a company registered in Birmingham, over the last few months. He said: “This development is great for Newry and the wider area.”
The decision in favour of a major development on the Warrenpoint Road in Newry resolves one of two big planning applications in the town. A separate application has been made for a food store at Carnbane Way — a site that could be more attractive to a big superstore because it is beside the city’s bypass and therefore easily reached from the Republic. The city has seen major retail development at The Quays Shopping Centre, and the rise of homegrown companies like First Derivatives and Norbrook.