Exclusive: Source says planning permission was granted on facilities on industrial estate
Online retail giant Amazon is linked to new warehouse facilities in Co Armagh, Business Telegraph can reveal.
Planning permission for a site within Mahon Industrial Estate, believed to be connected to Amazon, was granted earlier this year.
The site spans 18 hectares, and according to design drawings, would feature two warehouse facilities.
The application was submitted by planning firm Clyde Shanks on behalf of JH Turkington and Sons Ltd, a contractor who has been behind some of retailer Lidl’s new stores as well as Tesco supermarkets.
A source in the area told the Belfast Telegraph that the warehouses were to be occupied by Amazon and were going up at “the rate of knots”.
However, a spokesperson for Amazon said they “would not comment on speculation”.
Clyde Shanks and JH Turkington did not respond to requests for comment.
Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Council, which approved the application, said it was unable to comment.
Amazon moved its only Northern Ireland warehouse into a bigger and newer purpose-built property in the Titanic Quarter, which was sold for £27m with Amazon as a tenant in November last year.
Its sale was one of the biggest warehouse sales here in recent
years and highlights strong activity within the warehouse and fulfilment sector.
Amazon’s UK sales soared by 51% in lockdown last year to reach a record £26.5 bn.
Philip Macartney of IRP Commerce, the Belfast-based company which provides an e-commerce platform, said it’s hoping to establish an e-commerce centre of excellence in NI.
And Amazon was not the only business making a big success of online retail.
The chief commercial officer said that from the start of 2021, some retailers in Northern Ireland who were selling online had seen their sales more than double year-on-year.
“This overall growth trajectory is seen across the board.”
He added: “We have been incredibly busy lately speaking to potential new clients. E-commerce has now become a major part of their businesses. If Amazon is doubling down on Northern Ireland perhaps it will spark the conversation for others to utilise our unique trading arrangement too.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity and IRP intends to do its utmost to help make an e-commerce centre of excellence a reality in NI.”
Donna Park, managing director of recruitment firm Staffline, said: “Warehouse space is at a premium and we have seen a real increase in roles including drivers to warehouse operatives and order pickers.
“We also find that businesses are looking for more sq footage to meet demand and we have a current retail client that is looking upwards of 200 extra staff to keep up with demand.”