Concerns raised after committee approves industrial estate extension

The entrance to Moira Industrial Estate at Old Kilmore Road. Pic by Google
The entrance to Moira Industrial Estate at Old Kilmore Road. Pic by Google

The council’s Planning Committee has voted to grant permission for an extension to an industrial estate in Moira, despite planning officials recommending that it should be refused.

The major application for an extension of the existing Moira Industrial Estate, including the creation of new access from Lurgan Road and associated landscaping and ancillary works, came before committee members for consideration at their meeting on December 4.

According to a report presented to the committee, statutory consultees registered no objections to the proposed development. However, 10 letters were received from objectors, along with three letters of support from existing businesses trading within Moira Industrial Estate.

Recommending refusal of the application, planners concluded: “It is considered that the application does not satisfy all the key policy requirements and is an unacceptable proposal at this location.”

They said the development site is not within an area specifically allocated for industrial use and that, if permitted, would result in “urban sprawl”.

Despite the planners’ recommendation, committee members voted 5 - 4 to approve the application.

While the council said it couldn’t provide details of the recorded vote taken on the matter until the minutes of the meeting are ratified, the Star understands that councillors Jim Dillon, Nicholas Trimble (both UUP), David Drysdale (DUP) and Brian Hanvey (SDLP) voted in support of the refusal recommendation, while councillors Luke Poots, Jonathan Craig, Uel Mackin, Nathan Anderson (all DUP) and Andrew Girvin (TUV) voted to overturn it.

Claiming that some committee members had “lost the run of themselves”, Alderman Dillon said: “This is less than half a mile from the roundabout at the top of Moira. There is already traffic chaos there and this is just going to make the problem even worse. The people of Moira will not take this kindly.”

While the council said it couldn’t make any comment, the Ulster Star believes the matter could be back on the agenda again next month after legal advice is sought about the committee’s decision.