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Durkan and Ford welcome planning permission for £12million forensic science development

Justice Minister David Ford today welcomed Mark H Durkanís announcement of DOE planning approval for a forensic science laboratory in Carrickfergus.
Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I welcome the decision by my Executive colleague Mark H Durkan to grant planning approval for the development of a new laboratory at FSNI, which when complete will meet the highest of European standards.

Minister of Justice David Ford MLA,Northern Ireland Department of Justice

The £12million capital investment will provide a state-of the-art building for DNA processing and evidence recovery facilities at the current site of Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) at Seapark, Carrickfergus.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “This is a major economic boost for East Antrim. This facility will bring significant investment to the Carrickfergus area and construction jobs in the short term.”

Justice Minister David Ford said: “I welcome the decision by my Executive colleague Mark H Durkan to grant planning approval for the development of a new laboratory at FSNI, which when complete will meet the highest of European standards.

“I am committed to delivering a faster, fairer justice system and FSNI has a vital role in that. The £12million investment which I have allocated will help FSNI to respond to the ever changing demands of forensic science, ensuring the provision of a state of the art, fully accredited service to meet the needs of the wider criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.”

Mark H Durkan continued: “This application – for a service that all of Northern Ireland will benefit from - was turned around in under four months. This shows again how the planning system can deliver swiftly for organisations seeking to expand and invest here. It is further proof that what I and DOE are about is creating a better environment and a stronger economy.”

DOE Planning consulted with Carrickfergus Borough Council on 8 August 2013 who raised no objections to the proposal.

Notes to editors:

1. Planning application V/2013/0056/F was received by the Department on 23 April 2013. The proposal was for high standard laboratory accommodation and offices – a four storey building with three floors of laboratory accommodation with an enclosed plant room above.

2. The applicants were Forensic Sciences Northern Ireland.

3. The application was presented to the meeting of Carrickfergus Borough council on 8 August with an opinion to approve.

4. A key feature of the new building, in addition to its ability to facilitate increased throughputs, will be the exacting standards of control of its internal “clean room” environment. It will also be a highly energy efficient building, generating more power than it consumes.

5. The new laboratory will meet the BREEAM excellent standard, thereby ensuring that the Government’s commitment to environmental and economical sustainability is met.

6. For media enquiries and image contact DOE Press office Tel: 028 9025 6058 or DOJ press office: 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours, call the Executive Information Service’s Duty Press Officer on 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.