ENNIS Town Council has queried the developer of a proposed €40 million retail centre for the outskirts of the town about why a second planning application has been lodged with the local authority for a development that is “almost identical” at the same site.
Michael Lynch Ltd applied for planning permission on December 23, 2010 to build a retail development including a foodstore of 7,834sqm on five hectares of land at Limerick Road and Tobarteascain Road. Another application for a retail development at the same site to include a foodstore of the same size was also lodged with Ennis Town Council by Michael Lynch Ltd on January 6, 2011.
In both planning applications, the planning authority has raised a number of concerns about the development, asking for further information.
Among matters raised by the town council was the second planning application.
“It is noted that this is the second planning application on the same site. It is noted that this planning application is almost identical to that applied for under reg ref 10-107. Please elaborate on the same, indicating any differences between both applications,” the planning authority stated in their further information request.
The progression of the applications is now on hold as the authority awaits the response to this and other queries, including concerns about the site’s location on a flood risk zone.
The proposed development, which has promised 500 jobs, is part of a masterplan by Michael Lynch Ltd for seven hectares of land at the site.
An application for a similar facility was refused planning permission on the site in 2006 by An Bord Pleanála, however the developers insist the issues raised in the previous process have influenced the final design for this scheme.
Documents lodged with the application by the developers state that the proposal, if given the go-ahead, will make a “positive contribution not only to the urban fabric of the town, but also through the social benefits which will accrue, which include lasting local jobs for local people”.
Opposition to the plans has been shown by local residents, individual businesses, traders associations and An Taisce.