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Supermacs owner says motorway plaza will be “a huge boost to Ennis”

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SUPERMACS managing director Pat McDonagh has said the granting of planning permission for a new Barack Obama plaza-style motorway service station on the outskirts of Ennis “will be a huge boost” to the county capital.
Clare County Council have given the green light to the €10 million development adjacent to Junction 12 of the M18 at Kilbreckan, Doora which is set to create 120 jobs. This was the fast-food chain’s fourth application to develop the service station at this location.
Reacting to the granting of planning permission for the development, Mr McDonagh said the decision is affirmation of the commitment of the local authority to the people of Clare.
He said Supermac’s will do, “everything to respond generously in job creation and all it takes to ensure that this development will contribute significantly over decades to the economic and social development of Ennis and the whole county”. He said there is “no substitute for tangible investment and that the creation of 120 jobs within a year will be a huge boost to Ennis”.
He added that he “commits in particular to additional part-time employment directed at young people whose participation in Higher Education will be facilitated by the income they will earn and whose future careers will be enabled by the work ethic of the company.”
The local authority received a number of submissions in relation to the plans, including a joint objection lodged on behalf of five local businesses. Duesbury Ltd, Ennis, Ryan’s Centra, Ennis, Mill Road Motors, Ennis, Claureen Service Station, Ennis and Clarke’s Daybreak Supermarket and Petrol Station, Crusheen, all members of Ennis Chamber, raised “serious concerns” about the plans.
Their objection argued that the “excessive scale” of the development “will have a signficant negative impact on the vitality and viability of Ennis Town Centre, Clarecastle village centre and Crusheen village centre which is contrary to the policies of the Clare County Development Plan.”
Among other submissions Michael Duffy, chartered civil engineer, argued that the plans would increase traffic hazards and take business from Ennis among other items.
Plans for the motorway service station include the development of a convenience shop, food court, staff facilities, canopy, fuel facilities, parking and circulation space, children’s play area, picnic area and access provision.
In granting planning permission subject to 25 conditions, the council stated that the development “would not be prejudicial to public health, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience, would not seriously impact on the amenity of properties in the vicinity and therefore would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”
Conditions of planning permission include that the proposed development will operate as a motorway service area “and shall not be used for functions or events or otherwise in a manner which would present the facility as a destination in its own right”.
Also the development cannot become operational or occupied until the proposed wastewater treatment plant and rising main for connection to the public mains has been constructed, completed and connected. Overnight parking of caravans / motor homes is not permitted under the planning permission.
Other conditions include that the developer is responsible for the full cost of repair of any damage caused to the adjoining public road / infrastructure arising from construction. Prior to starting the development a contribution of €48,408.80 is to be paid to Clare County Council in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area. A special development contribution of €35,000 is also to be paid to the council towards the improvement and maintenance of public infrastructure, in particular the cost of providing footpaths and public realm work sin Doora. The council’s decision can be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

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