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Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council's Planning Success Fuels Economic Growth Momentum

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has maintained its position as one of the leading planning authorities in Northern Ireland, according to the latest data issued by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) for April-December 2023.

The latest published statistics have confirmed an impressive processing time of 20.7 weeks for major planning applications, against a target of 30 weeks making it the fastest turnaround time of all Northern Ireland Councils.  Such performance not only sets a high standard but also positions the Council among a select number of authorities that successfully achieved the 30-week statutory target during the same quarter.

For local applications, the Council boasted an average processing time of only 13 weeks, against the Northern Ireland average of 20.4 weeks. Once again, the Council has outperformed the statutory target of 15 weeks, continuing a consistent trend of high performance.

Some of the notable planning approvals during this period include;

  • Global drinks giant Diageo £26m extension to their Mallusk-based facility, creating 100 construction jobs and 35 posts once completed (19 weeks)
  • Multi-million Investment by Heron Bros for new 250,000 sqft storage and distribution facility at Nutts Corner, creating 200 jobs during construction and a further 230 jobs upon completion (19 weeks)
  • New 81-room Premier Inn Hotel at Belfast International Airport, representing an investment of £5.5m in the local tourism industry (22 weeks)
  • £10m Ulster University Investment to create world-class Sports Village in Jordanstown (18 weeks)

The Council’s Planning section’s success has propelled economic growth across the Borough, which is already renowned as a strong commercial base and attractive investment location. This in turn continues to act as a catalyst, supporting the Council’s vision to be a prosperous Borough where all citizens can benefit from the economic opportunities.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper BEM, believes the Council’s positive reputation and continued planning success are key factors in attracting investors to the Borough to establish their business as well as encouraging those based here to expand.

“Our success in attracting new investors to the Borough and supporting existing business who are seeking to expand, is reinforced by our impressive planning performance. Coupled with the comprehensive support services provided by our tenacious Economic Development team, Antrim and Newtownabbey is an obvious choice for ambitious entrepreneurs.

“Job opportunities alongside our wraparound support service through business initiatives, such as Go Succeed and the Digital Transformation Flexible Fund, are essential pillars of our strategy to empower the business community and foster economic growth.”


Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor Robert Foster commented;

“The Council’s planning team continues to consistently outperform targets, year on year, which is welcome news to any investor.  This robust planning performance, combined with the array of comprehensive support services provided by our Economic Development team, has been transformative for the Borough.  

“Global Point, Newtownabbey and Nutt’s Corner are just two prime examples of how once barren areas of land have now been transformed into leading hubs for advanced manufacturing and distribution.”