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Public Prosecution Service: Newry

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2008

To ask the Solicitor-General what progress has been made on the (a) plans and (b) timescale for the opening of the regional office of the Public Prosecution Service in Newry; and if she will make a statement. (205591)

PPS has identified a suitable site on the Belfast Road, Newry that would enable the PPS to provide a Southern Regional Office that meets PPS office accommodation and car parking requirements within the revised PPS timescale autumn 2009.

Land and Property Services (Valuation) have agreed provisional and outline terms in respect of proposals to lease the building on this Belfast Road site. This agreement is ‘Without Prejudice and Subject to Contract’ which includes planning permission being granted.

The developer has made a submission to the planners based on the new ‘Pre Application Discussion for Strategic Projects and Major Housing, Commercial, Industrial and Public Sector Proposals’. A favourable response has been received which will permit the developer to submit a formal planning application on 21 May 2008. This new fast-tracked planning process anticipates that planning permission could be achieved in August 2008. On receipt of the planning permission the building will take nine to 12 months to become operational.

The Southern Regional Office is presently being sustained from Belfast until the Southern Regional Office is opened in Newry.