Heron Bros to develop major new food distribution hub at Nutts Corner

Heron Bros to develop major new food distribution hub at Nutts Corner

Heron Bros is to develop a new multimillion pound food distribution centre at Nutts Corner.

The South Derry construction group has lodged plans for the new facility next to Lidl’s Northern Ireland distribution hub.

The company has entered the pre-application phase, lodging a proposal of application notice with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

It is understood the development is not speculative, with a major logistics operator thought to be in talks to take on the facility. Plans for the 20-acre site include around 250,000 sq ft of floor space and 50 loading bays.

Industry monitor Construction Information Services Ireland estimates the development will involve an investment of around £18 million.

A significant amount of storage has been given over to freezers, with large storage space also included for alcohol and dry goods.

The initial plans drawn up by Portadown-based HPA Architecture include parking for 195 staff.

The planning precedent for a major distribution hub on the site has already been established.

Heron Bros secured planning permission around a decade ago develop multiple logistics units at Nutts Corner roundabout ranging from 20,000 sq ft to 390,000 sq ft.

Although the food storage nature of the facility suggests it could be utilised by a major retailer, the inclusion of a vehicle maintenance facility and fuel tanks points to the logistics industry. The plans also provide for staff accommodation and offices.