PLANS for the development of a supermarket and medical services centre on the outskirts of Ennis town centre have been put on hold, with an appeal lodged to An Bord Pleanála.
Clare Car & Tractor Parts Ltd and Lohan Property Ltd were granted planning permission by Clare County Council for the development of the existing retail warehouse site on the Kilrush Road.
The application sought the amalgamation and change of use of the four permitted ground-floor retail warehouse units to provide for: a supermarket, including a licensed alcohol sales area; eight neighbourhood centre retail units, with new independent shopfront entrances and neighbourhood centre management areas. The plans also include a medical services facility, including consultant rooms and associated waiting and administration area and more than 200 parking spaces.
A total of 14 third-party submissions were received in relation to the development. Among those making submissions were local businesses, including Tesco Ireland Ltd, O’Sullivan & Hansbury Motors, Musgrave Retail Partners, as well as representative group Ennis Chamber.
Planning permission was granted, subject to 13 conditions, including that the proposal for the eight neighbourhood retail units be omitted from the development “in the interests of protecting the vitality and viability of Ennis town centre”.
However, the proposal has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Donie O’Keeffe, Karen and Noel Mulhaire, Harnett Homes and Estate Developers Ltd and O’Sullivan Hansbury Motors.
The initial submission lodged on behalf of O’Sullivan Hansbury to Clare County Council called on the council to refuse planning, stating it was “not in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”. According to the submission, the Ashline-based business “have very serious concerns regarding the proposed development and the impact it will have on their business and on the vitality and viability of Ennis town centre”.
Concerns about the size, zoning and impact that the development will have on Ennis’ town centre were raised in the submission to the local authority.
“The proposed development, both in terms of the size of the anchor retail unit and in terms of the additional retail units, is in excess of what would normally be provided in a neighbourhood centre, particularly at this out-of-town location.
The proposed development cannot reasonably be defined as a neighbourhood centre serving a local catchment. The proposed development is an out of town shopping and commercial development designed to capture trade from a wide catchment as is evident by the scale,” the submission stated.The proposed development involves the conversion of the ground floor of the existing building to a supermarket and the first floor is to incorporate ancillary areas for the supermarket, as well as the medical services facility.
By Jessica Quinn