Doherty heralds major progress on acquisition of new land for economic development in Strabane District
Sinn Fein West Tyrone MP MLA Pat Doherty says that he is confident that one of the long term obstacles which has stood in the way of economic regeneration in Strabane will soon be cleared after having received written confirmation from DETI Minister Arlene Foster that Invest NI has now selected a preferred site which will deliver sufficient land, circa 44 acres, to develop a new Business Park at Melmount Road to meet the need of client companies over the long term.
“In recent years, the lack of industrial land in Strabane District has been a major obstacle in terms of the regeneration of the local economy. This was amply illustrated when, earlier this year; I highlighted the fact that four locally owned client companies with proposed expansion projects could not be accommodated within the District because of the failure of Invest NI to acquire additional industrial zoned over and above its longstanding 2.1 acres holding to met demand.
“Following extensive lobbying, I met with Minister Arlene Foster and Invest NI officials in March of this year to press for speedy progress on this issue. At that meeting I was told that the acquisition of additional industrial land in Strabane was now deemed to be a strategic priority and that they hoped to be in a position to submit a planning application, following the completion of financial arrangement for suitable site/sites
“In response to my latest letter to the Minister on the issue, she has now confirmed that Invest NI has now selected a preferred site which will deliver sufficient land, circa 44 acres, to develop a new Business Park at Melmount Road to meet the need of client companies over the long term. A planning application for development of a new business park was submitted at the end of August.
“She also stated that her Environment Minister Edwin Poots has advised that the applications are being handled by the Strategic Projects Team at Planning Headquarters which should assist with the processing and consultation procedure which is now underway in respect of this application.
“This news is extremely welcome and will facilitate the clear potential which exists for not only business expansion in the District but also for inward investment. ENDS