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Fane Valley plans for two major new farm shops in Armagh and Banbridge

Planning application submitted for retail outlet at Alexander Road in Armagh

Fane Valley is planning to open a major new farm shop in Armagh.

The development – at Alexander Road – is one of two being mooted within the borough, the other being at Banbridge.

The new agri farm shop in Armagh would involve the demolition of an existing building on site.

The plan is to replace it with an agri food shop stretching to in excess of 1,100 sq metres.

Office space and staff facilities are also included within the proposals.

An existing smaller retail unit on the site would be converted to provide additional store.

There would also be designated parking provided to accommodate both staff and the increased number of visitors and shoppers to the development.

The proposals would be seen as a further vote of confidence in the local agricultural sector and sit well with the ‘shop local’ message which is being promoted.

The Fane Valley Co-Op Society has its headquarters at Moira in Co Armagh.

It was formed 115 years ago and remains 100 per cent ‘farmer owned’ and, according to its figures, boasts a turnover in excess of £525 million, with over 2,100 employees at sites in Northern Ireland and the Republic, as well as England and as far away as Belgium.

The Society proclaims itself as “one of Ireland’s most progressive agri-food businesses, with interests in red meats, porridge oats and breakfast cereal, feed compounding, agricultural supplies, and renewable energy, operating across Europe”.

Fane Valley’s dairy operation had previously been conducted from Alexander Road opposite the proposed location of the new agri food shop.

The site has long since closed and is now home to the Home Bargains store.

Neighbours –  both residential and business – have been informed, including Ulsterbus and the Armagh Jobs and Benefits Office.

The proposals have been submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for consideration.

They are due to be publicly advertised this week.

Also going on show will be another development at Banbidge.

This would see the construction of a new agri farm shop – together with associated parking – at Rathfriland Road.

Again, a canopy would link the proposed farm shop to the existing farm store and would require the demolition of an office.

This development, if approved and when complete, would stretch to close to 1,500 sq metres.

Decisions in relation to both would be expected later in the year.

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