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Smithstown planning decision appealed

A DECISION made by Clare County Council in relation to a planning application at Smithstown has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.Greenband Investments had sought permission for a mixed-use development that would include a number of retail units and a neighbourhood centre, a discount foodstore, motor showroom, business centre and medical centre.The neighbourhood centre would have a number of retail outlets but planners refused permission for this aspect of the development earlier this year. In the appeal to An Bord Pleanála, Greenband gave a number of reasons why the neighbourhood centre should be allowed to go ahead.“While the council notes that the uses proposed within the neighbourhood centre are considered appropriate, they assert that the centre would have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre. The planning official’s report notes that ‘while the uses as proposed within the neighbourhood centre area considered appropriate uses for a neighbourhood centre, the location of this neighbourhood centre in …

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Company rewarded for thinking big

SHANNON-based company ABC Nutrition was a winner at the Bord Bia Food & Drink Industry Awards recently.The company came out on top in the Thinking Big category, which is for small businesses that have demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, matched by strong sales and marketing.Seán McNamara is a director of the company and he said he is thrilled with the success.“We couldn’t believe it. The other winners included the likes of Glanbia and Kerry Group, huge companies, whereas we’re very small and virtually unknown.”The company employs eight people and has been running for the last three years. It produces sports nutrition products, such as nutritional powders, vitamin capsules and spray vitamins, and is now exporting to 13 countries.ABC Nutrition is still doing relatively well, despite the global recession, according to Seán.“Myself and Willie Wixted, who was a friend of mine from school, had experience of similar American companies and we saw an opening here. It’s going well, although it’s a tough …

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Green light for shopping centre project

AN BORD Pleanála has given the green light to SkyCourt for a new development at the shopping centre.The proposed development involves the relocation of the Dunnes Stores outlet, the provision of a comparison anchor tenant, dividing the current Dunnes convenience unit into five other outlets, putting in nine retail units where the Tesco supermarket was located and providing a multi-storey car park.Manager Pat Kelly said that while the decision was positive, the current economic circumstances have to be considered.“We are pleased with the decision but it will have to be evaluated in the context of the current economic climate.”Inspector Conor McGrath said the proposed layout would have certain advantages.“The overall layout of development will improve pedestrian circulation and retail provision and address adjoining roads/streets, thereby complying with the objectives of the development plan. I consider the level of visual integration with the existing town centre to be unsatisfactory, however, primarily due to the elevational treatment and materials used. This is …

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