6th October 2020
“Warrenpoint Port has been requesting clarity for quite some time in relation to an SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) Inspection Centre at the Port. The Port would clearly prefer not to lose the land required for this centre, but we must comply with EU regulations. It is imperative that post Brexit we can continue to deliver our day-to-day activities of importing and exporting product for the agri-food sector in particular.
“We have been informed that an application for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development has been submitted to Newry Mourne and Down Council in the last few days by DAERA- Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. We were made aware that procurement tenders have also been issued by CPD.
We have just had access to an overview of this proposal, and we are engaged with DAERA in establishing the details to ensure that business can continue as usual in January 2021. We are aware that Government officials have said this will not be completed in time, however it will not be through a lack of effort on our behalf.
“It is now clear that given the facility’s required size, it has been earmarked for the area of land closest to the roundabout. We are pleased that our suggestion of a natural/ grass sloping roof at the rear of the building has been taken on board to support the environmental credentials and to soften the visual aesthetics from the Newry to Warrenpoint Road.
A likely outworking of this is that the site of the former Aylesforte premises will be utilised to replace part of the existing lorry parking in that area.
“We are requesting access to artists impressions of what the facility will look like so we can discuss this with our key stakeholders. We have also requested DAERA to advise us on what they will be delivering in terms of public consultation. The development falls within the permitted development rights at the Port, however as we have committed to engaging more with the local community; we encourage those who are applying for planning permission on our land to do the same.”