A massive new warehouse and business development in Co Armagh – at an estimated cost in the region of £5.7 million – could bring hundreds of jobs if allowed to proceed.
JH Turkington – which itself is based out of the James Park site on the Mahon Road – has submitted a formal planning application this week for the work.
The proposal has been in the pipeline for sometime and a pre-planning event was held back in April.
But now the drive is on to take the proposal from concept to reality and boost business in the area.
Planning officials at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have been informed that those attending were in April “very supportive” of the development.
Local politicians – including Upper Bann MP David Simpson and Assemblyman Sydney Anderson – are lending their support, given the significant investment which it will represent in Portadown and County Armagh as a whole, and the employment opportunities which would follow – both during construction and upon completion.
All of the units at the Mahon Road industrial area are currently in use, council officials have been informed.
JH Turkington now hopes to create new purpose-built accommodation.
The proposal is to build four warehouse units – each measuring 1,640 sq metres – and a service yard, together with staff car parking facilities.
Three business or office units would also be constructed, each measuring 930 sq metres, and again with car parking facilities.
A total of 81 additional spaces for cars and 30 for heavy goods vehicles would be required, given the nature and size of the development.
All of the units would be available for rent.
Council planners have been informed that the specific proposals – including the sizes of the units – were agreed after “initial market research” and with the intention of “maximising development” on the site.
All of the other units in the area are in use and this development would afford businesses the opportunity of opening or expanding to the Portadown area.
A design and access statement accompanying a formal planning application concludes: “It has been clearly demonstrated that this site is capable of a sustainable development which is sympathetic with the surrounding area and provides much needed industrial units within an appropriate location.
“It is a sustainable solution using the existing industrial site and it will create jobs and employment.”
The plans will be publicly advertised now and a decision in relation to the proposals would be expected early in the New Year.