Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)
Approval for new £35m warehouse & distribution facility in Co Antrim
A proposed £35m investment in warehousing and distribution at Nutts Corner in Co Antrim was given the go-ahead by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Planning Committee at a meeting last Monday evening, 20 March.
The committee heard that the development is expected to result in the creation of up to 200 construction and 90 new jobs when the facility is operational.
A site at Nutts Corner Road has been earmarked for a storage and distribution facility comprising freezers, coolers, warehousing, cold dock, offices and staff welfare accommodation.
Council planning officer Kieran O’Connell stated the £35m investment represents “significant economic benefit”. He indicated the design, lay-out and appearance of the proposed development are considered “acceptable”.
He commented that a “key property” in the vicinity is supermarket Lidl’s distribution centre.
Agent Nick Salt, a senior planner, described the proposal as a “storage and distribution facility” for key regional distribution which will be employing a total of 230 staff.
The premises are to be occupied by food business Sysco which has a facility outside Lisburn.
He reported the development would result in the payment of £550k in business rates annually and wage expenditure of £6m.
He went on to say the proposal involves building smaller units for what he described as a “reduced visual environmental impact and a more efficient use of space”.
Commenting on the design, Macedon Alliance Councillor Billy Webb MBE said: “Why is it not possible to have the building flipped round? A very unattractive part of the building is facing the main thoroughfare.”
He was told it “just did not work within the site lay-out”. Cllr Webb replied: “It is a massive site. I think it could have.”
He proceeded to ask about the embankment and planting and if it is sufficient to ensure this will “hide part of the building, if possible”.
A report to the committee notes: “The proposed landscaping is to be welcomed as it will soften the visual impact of the development.”
Planning permission was granted following a unanimous vote in favour of the application.