Limerick's metropolitan mayor wants 'balanced approach' over plaza plan

BUSINESS:  OBAMA PLAZA STYLE SERVICE STATION COULD CREATE 50 PERMANENT JOBS IN CITY

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Metropolitan mayor wants 'balanced approach' over Limerick plaza plan

The proposed site for the service station in Clondrinagh, and below, the plans

LIMERICK'S metropolitan mayor Michael Hourigan has urged planners to take a "balanced approach” when considering plans for a new plaza on the northside.

The Limerick Leader has revealed plans for a massive ‘Barrack Obama Plaza’ style development near the Clondrinagh Industrial Estate at the Ennis Road, with developers saying the proposal could create 50 permanent jobs.

But Cllr Hourigan has questioned whether the development – if it goes ahead – will serve the local community or passing traffic only, as the Obama Plaza does in Moneygall.

“We have applications in for over 100 units of housing for Clonmacken. We also have plans for 40 units of [social] housing in that area. There is a growth in population there.

“We have existing service stations, we have existing restaurants in the area, and existing facilities like this. We must ensure we do not lose jobs in the other areas,” the metropolitan mayor said.

The multi-million euro proposals could see a service station forecourt, and a 650-metre two-storey restaurant building with a drive-thru facility and children’s play area.

But Petrogas group, which operates the nearby Applegreen Service Station nearby has formally objected to the proposals.

However, Dermot O’Dwyer, who has operated a crash repair business in the Clondrinagh Industrial Estate since 1988, said there should be “no-one in the area who could have any objection to what is proposed in the area.”

“Clondrinagh has not changed bar one or two buildings from 1988 up to the present day. It is on the main Limerick-Shannon-Galway road and needs an input of footfall to develop the industrial estate. This would have an unbelievable effect on footfall. At present, many people are oblivious to the fact the estate is even here,” he said.

Around 25 small businesses operate from this industrial estate which is set back from the main Ennis Road.

Pat O’Neill, who owns the land and has spearheaded the development has said the plaza project could bring 50 permanent jobs, and 100 in the construction stage.

The service station, if it goes ahead, would operate on a 24/7 basis, with the restaurant open between 6am and 10pm, planning documents show.

Council planners are expected to make a formal decision on the planning application by Wednesday, July 5 next.