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Controversial Maghera business park approved

Words: Roger Milne
Condition attached to tees and hedgerows / iStock-1124780633

Mid Ulster District Council has approved its outline proposals for a business park at the former high school at Maghera, which many residents wanted to become a public park.

The scheme involves the creation of up to seven serviced sites with qualifying businesses constructing their own purpose-built facilities, ranging in size from 371 square metres to 1,860 square metres.

The council said the land on the Tobermore Road had been earmarked as an industrial site to address a gap in the availability of industrial land locally, and to meet an identified demand from local businesses. The site is close to both the A29 and A6 roads.

The green light for the scheme came with a series of conditions designed to protect the area’s natural heritage and address other issues including roads infrastructure, drainage and flooding.

Originally, the proposals involved development across the whole site. Revised plans mean that no development would happen within an identified flood plain.

A condition attached to the permission ensures that identified trees and hedgerows must be retained, while a tree preservation order, also agreed by members, would protect 65 individual and/or groups of trees, with a further 675 new trees to be planted as part of the proposed scheme.

Image credit | iStock