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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Plans lodged with MEA Council for ‘Inspection Buildings’ at port of Larne

Port of larne

A preliminary notice has been lodged with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for the construction of three inspection buildings at the Port of Larne.

The application for the site at Redlands Road includes stores, an internal spine road and car parking, boundary fencing, security huts and CCTV.

It says: “The construction of inspection facilities are required to permit Departmental and local authority officials to undertake their statutory duty to carry out sanitary and phytosanitary inspections on agri food goods and livestock imported into Northern Ireland.”

The Windsor Framework establishes a new set of arrangements for the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and provides a new basis for trusted traders to move their goods through a new “green lane”. The new arrangements take effect in two phases, the first from September 30.

The UK government’s Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has indicated the planned development in Larne is to “set up a permanent Sanitary and Phytosanitary SPS inspection post to replace the temporary facilities currently operating.

“The purpose of these facilities is to enable the delivery of Official Control Regulation (Red Lane) checks on goods moving on to the EU single market and to conduct any necessary Windsor Framework (Green Lane) checks on goods remaining in Northern Ireland.

“The new facilities will also enable the delivery of biosecurity checks on animal and livestock movements. Larne, in particular, handles livestock movements and checks, ensuring animal welfare and health.”

The main political parties have been asked by the Local Democracy Reporting Service for a comment on the proposed new inspection buildings but they have not replied at time of going to press.

In February 2021, then Agriculture Minister DUP MLA Gordon Lyons ordered a halt to construction of new purpose-built inspection facilities planned in Larne and Belfast for Irish Sea post-Brexit checks on agri-food goods arriving from Great Britain amid  growing controversy over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

A protest by the DUP against post-Brexit trading arrangements brought about the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive in February 2022.


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