PLANS to build a major out-of-town shopping centre on the site of the old Erin Foods factory in Thurles, have been rejected by An Bord Pleanála.
Baycross Developments Limited had plans for the demolition of the Erin Foods plant, to be replaced with a a retail development including a supermarket, fast food/drivethrough and restaurant, on the Slievenamon Road and Clongour, Thurles Town Parks. The plans attracted considerable local opposition from Thurles’ business community, with concerns that such a large-scale complex would draw footfall from Liberty Square.
Thurles Town Council granted permission for the plans on September 13 last year, subject to 19 conditions. Frank McKevitt of Costcutters, RGDATA, which represents Ireland’s independent family owned grocery shops, Michael Gerard Spain, the Department of the Environment, An Comhairle Ealaíon, and An Taisce, appealed this decision on October 9. The grounds for appeal include that the plans differed “so significantly from the development proposed, that the grant of permission is in conflict with Development Management Planning Guidelines.” The development should have been subject to a formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and that the proposals directly contravened the town’s Development Plan, and North Tipperary’s Retail Strategy. Concerns were also expressed regarding the use of “selective and unsubstantiated figures; identification of catchment; estimate of convenience expenditure; estimate of turnover of existing convenience outlets; inadequacy of trade diversion assessment and consequential unreliable retail impact assessment.”
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.