Newtownabbey Asda supermarket plan hits roadblock

Plans for a new Asda store in Newtownabbey were dramatically halted on Monday night after a Stormont department stepped in at the eleventh hour.

Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 3:49 pm
A CGI visualization of the proposed store.

The supermarket chain is seeking planning permission for demolition of the former Nortel factory which closed in 2009 and construction of a new 70,000 sq ft food store, filling station and car park at Doagh Road through a £17.5m investment at Monkstown Industrial Estate.

The company has indicated that the development would lead to the creation of 100 construction jobs and 258 full-time posts in-store, generating £4.37m in salaries.

Planning approval has been recommended for the application which was on the agenda at Monday’s meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey’s Planning Committee.

However, committee members were told by Head of Planning John Linden that the Department for Infrastructure wished to serve a direction order with the effect that the council may not proceed to grant planning permission until further advised by the Department. He indicated the council may be obliged to hold a pre-determination hearing.

Retail NI has urged councillors to reject the application amid fears over the potential impact on local traders and existing retail jobs in the area.

Alliance Councillor Billy Webb proposed the council advise the Department how “disappointed we are and indeed how annoyed we are” and the decision was being taken off a democratic body.

A spokesperson for Asda said: “Whilst we are disappointed that the application has been deferred, we will continue to work with all concerned to successfully progress our plans for a new store in Newtownabbey.”

By Michelle Weir

Local Democracy Reporter


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you.