Council to contact Finance Minister over Asda petrol station issue

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ANTRIM Council has agreed to contact the Finance Minister after an Irish bank was blamed on the lack of a new Asda petrol station at Junction one.

When Asda opened its biggest store in Northern Ireland at Junction One it was always with the understanding that a filling station would follow.

Members of the council have been putting pressure on the supermarket giant to push forward with filling station, however at last Thursday’s full meeting of Council, Councillor Adrian Watson said he believed the National Assets Management Agency is holding up the issue.

Cllr. Watson called on the council to contact the Finance Minster Sammy Wilson for advice on the issue.

He said: “It had the potential to have the full support of the retail sector in the borough. We are waiting for NAMA who are sitting in Dublin.

“They have caused the potential of that deal to fall foul. If that had went ahead it would had a huge benefit to the cost of fuel in Antrim.”

Councillors have been calling for the long promised petrol station which would see local residents benefit from cheaper fuel with an increased competition.

Cllr. Watson added: “It is very sad that this commercial enterprise is being stopped in this area.

“I hope the council may consider contacting the Finance Minister to see what advice can be given if it’s in the commercial interest of everyone.

“This is hurting the retail sector of Antrim.”

Cllr. Watson added that even the smaller retailers in Antrim would be behind a new filling station.

Councillor Paul Michael, who has also been pressing for movement on the issue, said the borough is being starved of this opportunity.

He said: “I have raised and continue to raise this issue within the chamber.

“If this council can move this any further by bringing in ministers, this would be most welcome. “The sooner this is resolved the better, I welcome the involvement of local minister to move this along.”

Council Chief Executive David McCammick told members that officers will make contact with the Finance Minister about the issue on their behalf.

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