Pro­posed £17m busi­ness park could cre­ate 60 new jobs

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - 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 op­erat- ing 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.

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