Rathfriland losing recycling business.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

THE Rathfriland-based business Plaswire Ltd will move out of the town within the next year.

The specialist recycling firm is relocating 20 miles away to a larger site to accommodate the "needs of the growing business".

The polymer recycling company had hoped to stay within the Rathfriland area however that has not been possible as attempts to find a bigger site to expand the business proved unfruitful.

Plaswire has now lodged a planning application with Planning Service for a 1,800m2 premises in Lurgan.

The company hopes to place itself next to a number of similar businesses in the Halfpenny Business Park on the Portadown Road.

Along with the recycling premises, the plans also include offices, a service yard and perimeter fencing.

Andrew Billingsley, company founder, says they had been looking at alternative sites for a number of months after they realised that in order to expand, another site had to be found.

He hopes to increase Plaswire's daily tonnage from 150 tonne in and out to 300 tonne in and out.

"The site in Lurgan is vacant at present so there will be a complete new building and new development.

"We are hoping we will be in by summer 2018," said Mr Billingsley.

The business has operated from the former MJM site on the Newry Road for the past fiveand- a-half years and in Leitrim before this move.

Plaswire was set up to fit the "needs of the modern recycling and plastic extrusion industry with a focus on individual customer requirements".

Mr Billingsley hopes the current staff, around 10, will move with them to the new site in Lurgan and due to the increase in business they plan on employing more staff.

"It has been a pleasure to be in Rathfriland," Mr Billingsley said.

"We have made some good friends here through many businesses, such as Windsor Toal, Milestone, Katie Banks, The Clothes Peg and the former Stewart and James Mica Hardware and now Rathfriland Hardware.

You name it, they have been very good." When the company first announced they were looking for an alternative site, South Down MLA Jim Wells said "it was a pity there was no site for this elsewhere in Rathfriland area".

"I fully understand why they are moving. They are moving to a bigger site as it is a very successful business and they have grown considerably over the past five years.

"Its growth is a testament to Mr Billingsley who formed the company after he saw a gap in the market.

"It is a loss to the Rathfriland area in terms of its economy," said Mr Wells.

The current site suffered an arson attack back in December 2015 which caused devastating damage to a family home in the adjoining housing development of Kiltarriff Drive.

It is also currently awaiting the outcome of a planning appeal heard last month in relation to the alleged unauthorised use and operation of land and premises on the Newry Road.

The appeal was lodged after the local council filed a planning enforcement notice on the site on 30 September 2016 after it was found to have no planning permission as a waste management facility, however, it is understood plans to relocate were already under way before this.


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