Beggs calls for Council to prevent Land Banking of local Industrial development sites

Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate has called on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to urgently review Land zoned for Industrial Development in the East Antrim area following his discovery that a significant proportion of the remaining land zoned for industrial use was being controlled by inter-related companies.

Roy Beggs said,

“It has come to my attention that much of the limited land zoned for industrial use in Carrickfergus area is under the control of companies with clear relationships. I believed that this is unhealthy and may be restricting the development of the local economy.  I am contacting Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to make them aware of the close relationships that exist. 

I believe that monopolies are unhealthy for business and I am calling on Council to zone additional land for industrial development and to consider de-zoning other land which would appear to have been used as land banking.  If developers realised that they could lose their planning consent, there would be a much greater incentive for them to develop and sell off  their land for industrial use and help to simulate the local economy.”

In 1997 CDC (NI) Ltd purchased Police Federation Club and associated lands. This has lay undeveloped for almost 20 years.  Mr Patrick Kearney  is a director and the company is linked to Kilmona Property Ltd.  The company loans were taken over by NAMA, sold to Cerberus and now has charges linking it to Jefferies Loancore.

Meanwhile, the huge former Courtauls site in Carrickfergus which was controlled by another Paddy Kearney related property Carrickfergus Industrial Centre Ltd was dissolved in 2010.   Parts are once more back into the ownership of a Paddy Kearney related company,  Loughview Leisure Group Limited.  Paddy Kearney listed as director and Kilmona Holding Gilbralta Ltd listed as owning 75% plus of the company.

The former AVX factory at the Ballyhampton Industrial Estate, Larne is also listed as under the control of Kilmona Holdings.

Recently, the estate agent Lisney reveilled the popularity of the Sloefield Business Park in Carrickfergus which now has only one remaining to be let.  

Roy Beggs said, “With the new improved A2 and A8 dual carriageways linking Carrickfergus and Larne to Belfast and the Motorway network, East Antrim has become much more attractive location for investment.    It is unhealthy that an inter-related group of companies control such a high proportion of  land available for industrial development in the Carrickfergus and Larne area.  The Council in developing their new area plan must insure that there are alternatives to encourage health competition.”

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