Plans by Total Batching Solutions to build a new factory at Edenaveys – part of a substantial investment which would bring much-needed jobs to Armagh – have been given the go-ahead.
Proposals for the development were submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council last May.
And as Armagh I revealed earlier this month, a second application has since been lodged for a much-larger development, as the company plans to relocate all of its operations to the site, just off the main Newry Road on the outskirts of Armagh.
This particular development – stretching to over 15,000 sq ft – would be constructed on a site at Edenaveys Road on “vacant land zoned for industrial use”, which would benefit in terms of its strategic placement close to the future route of the planned Armagh east link road.
The factory premises would include a fabricating and assembly building, as well as modular office units. Three single-storey modular buildings will be located along the south western corner of the site, adjacent to the point of access, providing security and surveillance over the site.
They will house office accommodation, meeting rooms, storage and welfare facilities.
There would also be car parking provision, landscaping and associated site works.
And the information presented to council at the time revealed that the new factory would enable “further investment and growth”, as it would also “enable employment growth locally and regionally for skilled welders, designers, production operatives, administration and finance staff”.
According to the original application: “The proposed factory is to be an engineering fabrication facility which will be used to manufacture concrete batching units from a variety of components, many of which are made by sub-contractors off site and assembled in the factory.
“The main activities carried out in the factory will be welding and fitting.
“Officers and welfare facilities are to be located in purpose-built modular buildings.”
Total Batching Solutions, currently with its main base at Cabragh Road, was founded in 2014, and specialises in the supply of large concrete batching plant for the ready mix sector. It is approved by the four major concrete suppliers – Cemex, Hanson, Aggregate Industries and Tarmac – and also supplies to a large range of independent firms.
Last year’s development has now been approved, while a second application in relation to the development of a new factory remains under consideration.
The level of investment and the number of job opportunities it will bring have both been described as “significant”.
The new factory and associated works – the second phase of planned development – falls within the ‘major’ category and, as such, a pre-application notice was lodged with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to advise of the company’s intentions.
This factory building will offer floorspace of close to 65,000 sq ft.
Five specific development zones are proposed.
The main factory building will encompass central zones two and three, consisting of fabrication, assembly, painting, sand blasting and associated spaces.
The first of the five development zones will take the form of a ‘goods in’ building stretching to over 3,000 sq ft.
The fourth zone consists of an area of external yard for storage of the finished products.
And the fifth zone – to the southwest corner of the expansive site – will contain a number of single storey modular buildings which will house office accommodation, meetings rooms, storage facilities and welfare facilities.
This area has also been earmarked for a future purpose–built office block.
A community consultation document has also been made available detailing what is expected.
During the current period of consultation, which runs until Thursday, June 8, the public can have their say, and any opinions will be considered ahead of the submission of a formal application for this second phase of development.