£100m Newry retail park will bring 1,000 jobs, says developer
A huge proposed retail park in Co Down could create 1,000 jobs, it has been predicted.
An original plan for a business and retail park on a site in Newry once used by HMRC has now been expanded to take in newly purchased adjacent lands.
The new facilities would be located next to Damolly retail park.
The proposals include business and retail units and housing.
Newry-based developer Damolly Developments said the park would generate 700 jobs during construction and sustain 1,000 jobs in operation.
The original blueprint for a 30-acre site was granted planning permission in 2014.
It has now been redrawn and expanded to 35 acres. The new plans are to go out for public consultation.
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Eamon Breen, representing Damolly Developments, said it was a significant proposal.
"We are hugely excited by the plans, which complement the previous approval and which will regenerate this area and cement Newry's position as the leading business and retail centre on the Belfast-Dublin axis," he said.
"Newry city has a retail catchment in excess of 379,000, and three million within a 75-mile radius.
"It attracts many shoppers from Dublin, Meath, Louth and Monaghan.
"The expanded development will be in an area of the city that is highly accessible and takes the burden off areas that are congested with commercial and domestic traffic."
Mr Breen said the news came at an opportune time for the area, which is facing an uncertain future as the fallout from the Brexit vote continues.
"We are confident that the proposals for the Newry City Business and Retail Park are exactly what is needed for the region at a time which sees question marks over the future of the border," he added.
"By consolidating Newry's retail and business strengths and fulfilling the city's development strategy, we are helping make the place the number one go-to destination on the island of Ireland and to create as robust a local economy as can be achieved in the face of post-Brexit uncertainties."
A pre-planning application notification has been lodged with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.