Northern Ireland’s richest man is to build a new coastal pathway as part of a settlement in a legal battle over a right-of-way on his estate in Co Down.

Dr Edward Haughey, also known as Lord Ballyedmond, had been seeking a ruling that a stretch of land on his lands beside Killowen Beach, near Rostrevor, is private.

The local council argued that the route should be open to the public.

Dr Haughey, whose personal wealth is estimated at over £500m, owns the international pharmaceutical company Norbrook Laboratories.

It employs 1,300 people worldwide, including 1,000 in Northern Ireland. 

A former member of Seanad Éireann, Dr Haughey is the ninth richest person on the island of Ireland.

He was granted an injunction preventing access to a laneway after concerns were raised about alleged trespassers coming close to sensitive research facilities.

In the High Court in Belfast this morning, it was announced that as part of a settlement, Dr Haughey will build a new coastal pathway to provide another means of public access to the beach, as an alternative to the disputed right of way.

Newry and Mourne District Council will be responsible for managing the new route.

The judge congratulated both sides on reaching a resolution and said it was regrettable that the local authority had been at odds with the principal employer in the area.