Bann Side Foods – Online Community Engagement

The Planning (Development Management) Regulations (NI) 2015

Major Development Pre-Application Online Community Engagement

Proposed redevelopment of the former Lovely and Christmas food processing plant at 150 Bann Road, Agivey, Ballymoney to incorporate new automated, first of its kind food processing plant with associated ancillary accommodation and site works.

Please note that this online consultation period will be over 8 weeks from 17th May to 9th July 2021.

PURPOSE OF THIS CONSULTATION

The purpose of this consultation is to inform the design process and any subsequent planning applications which will be made to Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council.

Persons wishing to make comment on the applicant may do so easily via this webpage & further information on the project is available below.

If you wish to discuss the project or require more information you can also contact Manor Architects directly on 028 867 483 67.

Note that any comments made are to the applicant (Bann Side Foods) & not the council’s planning team.

An opportunity to make representation to the council’s planning team will be provided at a later stage through the usual planning process.

Any comment you make is treated in strict confidence and as anonymous.

LOCATION OF THE SITE

Located some 2 miles south west of Ballymoney Co Antrim, The Agivey site sits on the edge of the eastern bank of the River Bann and fronts onto the Bann Road.

The site is dominated by the Agivey bridge which provides the only means of traversing the Bann between Coleraine in the North and Kilrea further south. The Bann Road forms a rural arterial route connecting central Ballymoney, Ballymena & Antrim with Garvagh, Kilrea, Aghadowey & Limavady.

HISTORY OF THE AGIVEY SITE

The Malton Bacon company ran the “Lovell & Christmas” pig processing factory at the site until it cought fire and was extensivly damaged in June 1998.

This was a most unfortunate event that had ramifications throughout the local community with the loss of between three & four hundred jobs, not to mention the impact on the wider agri food sector of Northern Ireland at the time.

The site has had several owners since then and never been redeveloped in a particularly meaningful way.

Bann Side Foods very much welcome your comments, support and any memories and photographs from those who worked at The Agivey or who just want to get in touch.

Below are some photos of the former facility before and after the catastrophic fire.

ABOUT BANN SIDE FOODS

Like a phoenix out of the flames ‘The Agivey’ is set for resurrection with the biggest single, private investment Northern Ireland has seen in generations.

The Lovell and Christmas site at the Agivey is set for major redevelopment which will see over £75 million private investment and the creation of over 2000 direct and indirect jobs.

The site at the Agivey is a place which has always had massive untapped potential for the right developer and Bann Side Foods are truly inspirational in their accomplishments, advances, and vision for the site.

There were many choices available to them, in terms of location within Ireland and the UK, however, Bann Side Foods are delighted to have been able to explore the benefits of the Causeway Coast & Glens area and convince their exceptional investors that the CC&G area is the place for them to embark on this fantastic, historic venture.

Bann Side Foods very much hope the people of Ballymoney, and CC&G will give them their full support to push ahead at pace.

This historic site holds many memories, many happy days and Bann Side foods are wholeheartedly invested in seeing this return, which the name of the company also reflects.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, not only for the individuals but also the wider community and indeed for the entire country. Once completed this project will see Bann Side food travel across the world, as far as the China seas.

It will secure our place on a worldwide stage and ensure that Bann Side Foods can not only serve local needs, but also global demands.

The facility, unlike any other in the UK or Ireland will see “end to end production” with automation seeing a change in the skills of jobs required.

Many of these jobs will be tech based, as we see elsewhere in the world with this scale of efficiency, but rest assured there will many diverse roles required for those who are less tech savvy and needed to fill the 350-400 direct jobs.

This gives many who have been adversely affected by the covid pandemic a chance to hope again. It is lovely to be able to say that Bann Side Foods are owned by local people from Northern Ireland, who, rather than doing as many have, (and relocated their business to cheaper locations) are deeply invested in Northern Ireland.

Bann Side Foods certainly want and need the support of the local public, politicians and the planning authority to develop this site as quickly as possible and allow it to input into the economy on so many levels.

Initially hesitant about coming to this area, the directors, who have over 35 years in the industry and have proven their acumen and drive, are fully committed, and have already invested heavily in the site. It must be said that local political parties and council have, to date, been very supportive and Bann Side Foods hope to have this continue.

Bann Side Foods very much welcome your comments, support and any memories and photographs from those who worked at The Agivey or who just want to get in touch.

ABOUT THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT

This proposal would see the erection of, the first of its kind, integrated pig production and processing enterprise, delivering end to end efficiency in food processing. This is history in the making, this will be a state-of-the-art, technologically advanced food processing facility, the like of which has never been seen in NI.

It will also be the largest construction project current in the country and will target global markets.

Bann Side Foods are a standalone enterprise, supplying the pork market demands across locally, nationally, and globally and the proposed development will address number of key issues currently effecting the farm to fork route in NI.

The proposal will see redevelopment of the existing brown field site and the processing plant is expected to be over 400,000sqft, excluding associated infrastructure and site works. The main building is expected to be between three and four storeys high in places and will accommodate all processes under one roof.

The development will encompass the entirety of the existing 12acre site and see delivery of a well-integrated proposal – which involves well landscaped public areas and enhancement of established boundaries with additional green infrastructure.

Access to and from the site will be via existing entrance points and provision of public transport connections will be made available on the Bann Road.

INVESTMENT

The project investment will see a spend in the region of £75 million which would make it the largest private investment that NI has seen in generations.

JOB CREATION

It is expected that the proposed development will lead to:

  • Between 300-350 direct jobs
  • Between 1000 indirect jobs
  • Due to the specific highly skilled expertise required it is expected that this will allow for training and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Expansion and diversification of existing farm enterprises throughout NI
  • Direct Construction investment
  • Direct investment in Local Suppliers
  • Long term sustainable indirect investment in local supply chains

Feedback

On behalf of Bann Side Foods thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback and you are encouraged to do so via the form opposite.

If you have any specific questions or would like to receive more information about the development, please contact Manor Architects directly on 028 867 483 67.

Any comment you make is treated in strict confidence and as anonymous.

IN ADDITION TO LEAVING FEEDBACK THROUGH THIS WEBPAGE

A Zoom meeting with a presentation on the project plus a Q&A session will be provided between 12 & 2pm on Friday 18th June 2021.

Please contact Manor architects to request detail of the Zoom meeting & how to join, it is free to do so and will give you the opportunity to discuss the project with members of the design team.

All feedback will be treated as anonymous & your details will not be shared with anyone.