A new pharmacy, gym and physiotherapy practise are being planned as part of a health and wellbeing facility on the outskirts of Newry.
The development – if given the go-ahead by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council – would be built on the Old Dublin Road.
Proposals have been drawn up in the name of Cana Developments Ltd.
The site in question sits close to two retail storage warehouses and to the rear of the existing SuperValu store, described in its current form as “agricultural” land.
The plan would represent a significant investment and, when up and running, it would see 10 staff employed on site daily.
The building would stretch to over 5,000 sq ft, with around half of this housing the pharmacy, the remainder equally split between the needs of the gym and physio practise.
A supporting statement submitted to planning officials states: “The proposed pharmacy is intended to service the local community with its essential healthcare needs in Dublin Road and the wider area to the south of Newry City Centre.
“Associated with the pharmacy will be a gym and a physiotherapy unit. Again these are both intended to meet local health and wellbeing requirements.”
The application indicates 24 parking spaces would be provided adjacent to the new-build facilities, with site boundaries “defined with new landscaping to ensure good integration with the surroundings”.
There is a need in the area for such facilities, according to the supporting statement, given the make-up of the local population and a current “deficiency in pharmaceutical provision” at this location.
Using the Drumalane and Fathom wards for an overall assessment, the statement points out: “Collectively, these have a population of about 6,500 persons. Approximately 12 % are 65 or over. Almost 20% of residents have been identified with a long–term health problem or disability which impacts upon their day to day activities.
“There are no pharmacies within the Fathom ward. In Drumalane there is a pharmacy in ‘The Quays’ shopping centre, but this is not convenient or accessible for a significant proportion of the population in the Dublin Road area, especially as some 22% do not own a car.”
And it adds: “The provision of a community pharmacy, gym and physiotherapy practice will offer the population in the southern part of Newry and its hinterland a much improved range of services.”
The proposals will now be advertised shortly and a decision would be expected later in the year.