PLANS by Supermacs for a €10 million Barack Obama plaza-style motorway service station on the outskirts of Ennis have been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanala.
The board has this week upheld a decision by Clare County Council to grant planning permission for the development adjacent to Junction 12 of the M18 at Kilbreckan, Doora.
According to Supermacs the plaza will create 120 jobs with Supermacs managing director Pat McDonagh previously stating the development “will be a huge boost” for the county capital.
This was the fast-food chain’s fourth application to develop the service station at this location with planning permission granted for this proposal in December 2020 by Clare County Council.
However, three separate appeals were lodged against the plans by local businesses to An Bord Pleanala.
One appeal was submitted by Duesbury Ltd, operator of the Old Ground Hotel in conjunction with Mill Road Motors Ennis, Claureen Service Station Ennis and Clarke’s Daybreak, Crusheen.
A separate appeal was also lodged by Maxol Ltd as well as another by local landowner Shane Brigdale.
The objection led by Duesbury Ltd outlined “serious concerns” about the proposal, maintaining its “excessive scale” will have a “significant negative impact on the vitality and viability” of Ennis, Clarecastle and Crusheen.
The appeal stated the plaza would “divert trade” from businesses that are already struggling to survive.
Upholding the decision of Clare County Council to grant planning permission, An Bord Pleanala stated this week that the proposal would “meet the need for motorway services provision serving cars and HGVs at this strategic intersection of two national roads.”
It added that in its view the development would not give rise to an over-proliferation of private off-line service facilities at national road junctions, nor would it “negatively impact on the level of service and carrying capacity of the national road network”.
The planners stated the development “would not endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard or obstruction of road users”.
ABP further stated it did not believe the development “would result in the creation of a retail destination that would adversely impact upon existing settlements in the vicinity”.
It would not, planners stated, “interfere with the use or existing amenities of adjoining properties, would not adversely affect the visual amenities of the area and would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.
Ennis Councillor Pat Daly, who requested to be placed as a representative on the planning application to the council has described the decision as “great news for Ennis, the hinterland and the entire county.”
He continued, “Ennis people and Clare people should welcome this with open arms. It won’t affect business and it will create jobs while also being great for tourism.”