Limerick pharmacy rivals in court over planning dispute

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

THE fate of an Abbeyfeale pharmacist, who sold his pharmacy business and then opened another chemist shop right next door, now lies with An Bord Pleanala.

THE fate of an Abbeyfeale pharmacist, who sold his pharmacy business and then opened another chemist shop right next door, now lies with An Bord Pleanala.

The pharmacist, Ed McElligott, succeeded in obtaining planning retention for the second shop, Bridge Street Pharmacy, from Limerick County Council last month.

But that planning permission, to retain the shop frontage and a change of use from a store to a shop, is now being challenged and the council’s decision has been appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

Meanwhile, a prosecution brought by Limerick County Council against Ed McElligott, Bridge St, Abbeyfeale for unauthorised development has been adjourned to September.

Mr Will Leahy, solicitor for the council, asked for the adjournment at Abbeyfeale Court this Wednesday, saying that until An Bord Pleanala rules on the appeal, the status of the building remained unclear. “I don’t want to pre-empt any decision by An Bord Pleanala,” he told Judge Mary Larkin.

The council originally began enforcement proceedings against Mr McElligott in late 2011. Their case was that he needed planning permission to use his premises on Bridge St as a shop but this was disputed by Mr McElligott. The matter was referred to An Bord Pleanala which upheld the council’s contention that planning permission was required.

Mr McElligott originally owned and ran the business still known as McElligott’s Pharmacy on the corner of the Square and Bridge St but after selling that business on, he began trading as a pharmacist in the building next door on Bridge Street some years after that..

Late last year, the council brought a prosecution against Mr McElligott for failing to comply with an enforcement order and using the premises on Bridge St as a retail shop without planning permission. But the case was adjourned to allow Mr McElligott to apply for the planning permission he now knew was required.

This Wednesday, Mr Leahy told the court: “On the 18th of December, Limerick County Council granted Mr McElligott planning for a change of use.

“It was a store and now has planning permission for a shop.”

However, he added, an appeal to that planning permission has now been lodged with An Bord Pleanala. And he asked for a lengthy adjournment to allow the appeal to be heard.

The case returns to court on September 11.