Belfast Telegraph

Proposed £17m Northern Ireland business park could create 60 new jobs

By Ryan McAleer

A bid to construct a new £17m business park in Newtownabbey with the potential to bring up to 60 construction jobs has been submitted to planners.

The proposal for the new Doagh Road Business Park includes a storage and distribution centre, along with three light industrial units.

It's close to the existing Ballyearl Business Park, on the opposite side of the A8 Ballynure Road, at Houston's Corner roundabout.

If approved, the project is expected to create between 50 and 60 construction jobs during the 12 months of development, providing an estimated £500,000 in salaries. According to the project's backers, the completed development could generate an additional £500,000 in annual rates for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

The application has been submitted by Kemark No 2 Ltd, a subsidiary company of Oxford Street Capital, a Belfast-based property investment firm owned by a London family, headed by David Creighton. It's understood that Kemark has been behind a number of large-scale industrial projects across NI, involving similar levels of investment.

The latest project would see the construction of a new 15,000 sqm warehouse, along with three smaller 2,000-4,000 sqm units. The entire project would add 24,152 sqm of floorspace to the 12 hectare site, which has been zoned as a 'major employment location' (MEL).

According to the applicants: "The proposal will contribute to the overall aims of the regional development strategy by achieving further sustainable economic growth, providing job creation across the region and providing further inwards investment."

Planning permission has previously been granted for a similar, but smaller, project for warehousing and industrial units next to the Houston's Corner roundabout.

Located near Mallusk, the area remains one of Northern Ireland's key centres for a variety of businesses. The major firms operating nearby include Montgomery Distribution.

The Doagh Business Park application was submitted following a 12 week public consultation exercise late last year. An event in Ballyearl Leisure Centre resulted in just five people submitting their views via comment cards, most citing concern over another industrial development in the area. Elected representatives were also engaged on the project, along with the Antrim and Newtownabbey council.

The resulting amendments to the Kemark proposal include more landscaping on the site and setting the development further back from the Doagh Road.

Belfast Telegraph

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