LIMERICK City Council is seeking to rezone a five-hectare patch of land which could see the development of a supermarket on the southside of the city.
At present, the land at Toppins Field is zoned as residential. But the city council wants to rezone the land to provide for “District Centres”.
This would mean an alteration to the city development plan in order to allow for development. At present, the City Development Plan does not permit major commercial development outside the city centre.
City manager Tom Mackey declined to comment on whether there had been interest in the green space. But informed sources say that a major supermarket chain has expressed an interest in locating on this site.
However, the issue has divided the councillors, who ultimately have the power to decide for or against it. The matter was supposed to be brought up at this month’s full City Council meeting, but it has been deferred until next month to allow members the chance to fully assess the plans.
Mayor Jim Long said it is the “worst kept secret” the British retail giant Tesco is looking to open a new supermarket in Limerick.
“A supermarket is in the mix [for this site].
This is the concern councillors have because we have the city centre strategy, and it looks like if we go advertising for commercial space outside of the city, we are going against our own policy,” the southside councillor told the Limerick Leader.
*A full version of this story was published in the print edition of Limerick Leader, dated October 29, 2011