Tipperary Venue Decision Delayed

The re-modelled Tipperary Venue proposal to be situated at Noard, Newhill, Leigh and Two-Mile-Borris has been delayed in the planning process, The Tipperary Star can reveal, with North Tipperary County Council having sought further information from applicant, Thurles native Mr Richard Quirke.

The re-modelled Tipperary Venue proposal to be situated at Noard, Newhill, Leigh and Two-Mile-Borris has been delayed in the planning process, The Tipperary Star can reveal, with North Tipperary County Council having sought further information from applicant, Thurles native Mr Richard Quirke.

However, a full decision is now due in four weeks, we understand.

The application had been lodged with the planning authority on May 11th and was due to be decided upon this month. However, following a very comprehensive planning analysis, the local authority has sought further information from the promoters, although at this stage it is not clear on what aspect of the massive multi-million Euro development, the information is being sought.

The new proposal came following months of intense revisiting of the original plan, lodged by the same proposer, which was thrown into disarray when Justice Minister Alan Shatter effectively outlawed casinos as proposed by the Tipperary Venue. However, the focus of attention has now been placed on providing world class equestrian facilities with the casino element now having been taken out of the hotel complex and housed under the grandstand of the sprawling and hugely elaborate development.

“We are still expecting a decision in this in early September. It is understandable that further information would be sought considering that this is the single biggest planning application to ever come before North Tipperary County Council. It takes a lot of time to work through the various elements in the application and it is important that due process is allowed to follow,” Deputy Michael Lowry told The Tipperary Star this week.

The Venue, which still contains an exact replica of the White House, has been held up as the great white hope in terms of kick starting the local economy with much needed employment to be gained once construction commences. The promoters hopes of commencing construction by late summer have effectively been quashed though by the seeking of further information and will have to be revised. The new proposal, which does contain substantial changes in comparison to the previous one has meant that the local authority has been working flat out to process the huge application within the three month timeframe, although much of the work had already been done, with pre-planning meetings have taken place.

Mr Quirke, who has already expended very considerable sums of money in land acquisition, designing and creating the vision, and planning, has maintained a very strong commitment to the project and fervently believes in the concept. He instructed his design team to revisit the overall plan and to reconfigure it, with the major emphasis now on the equestrian element. The overall project has been redesigned with a number of facilities having to be relocated on the site and a substantial number of modifications made. In the overall context, it remains a very elaborate and extensive proposal. The planning application is effectively a re-model of what had already been granted planning permission. Pre-planning consultations had already taken place prior to the lodgement of the new planning application and because of an exisiting permission on the site, which had been approved by An Bord Pleanala following an extensive Oral Hearing, it was not envisaged that there would be any serious obstacles to having this revised plan formally accepted.

The emphasis of the original development has now shifted. The casino has been taken out of the hotel but it is now relocated to under the grandstand area. The equestrian and bloodstocks side of the proposal has been enlarged to take account of the blueprint which was received by Horse Board Ireland. They did a lot of research into the requirements and needs of showjumping, dressage etc and they drew up a blueprint of what would be their desired plan. The view, is that Richard Quirke is now enabling that plan to be part of the Two Mile Borris venture - a move which has been welcomed as it provides for a world class facility capable of hosting major events and competitions.

An estimated cost of the new Tipperary Venue is not available at this time, but it is thought to be considerably less than the original E460 million considering the availability of labour and the severe downturn in the construction industry. The project is to create 1,000 jobs during construction with up to 1,500 jobs to be created on a seasonal basis thereafter.