The all-island Penneys distribution centre at Great Connell, Newbridge, will employ 212 people when operational.
Documents lodged with the application stated that Barola Capital Dac, which is Primark’s property investment arm, will spend €43 million on the base build for the project. An additional €75 million is to be spent by the retailer on the internal fit-out and equipment for the semi-automated centre.
Underlining the scale of the plan, Kildare County Council has attached a condition to the permission requiring the Primark company to pay €3.97 million in planning development contributions.
A planner’s report by the council recommended permission be granted after stating the proposal is acceptable in principle due to Newbridge’s “key town” status and the increase in employment it will bring to the town.
One of the largest clothing retailers in Europe, Primark operates 36 Penneys stores in Ireland.
Architects for the scheme, Todd Architects – which has previously designed Titanic Belfast – told the council that the uniqueness of the internal specification required for automation at the distribution centre “would render the unit one of the most leading edge distribution centres in Europe”.
There were no third-party objections to the proposal. John Murphy, managing director of construction group Murphy International Ltd, which has its headquarters on adjoining lands, wrote offering his firm’s support for the proposal.
The project comprises a distribution warehouse facility of 64,550sq m and 62,925sq m of office accommodation.
Primark’s existing distribution centre, which is located about 2km from the new site, uses logistics systems that are “outdated and inefficient”, according to an environmental impact statement accompanying the application.