Milk Market okay by Bord Pleanala

THE Milk Market is to open six days a week from early next year and will include a 120-sear restaurant and a translucent, tensile roof.

Permission was granted for the development by Limerick City Council last June, but it was appealed to An Bord Pleanala by one market trader and a local body, who opposed the plans.

Mayor of Limerick John Gilligan, a former chairperson of the Market Trustees and supporter of the plans, and said some objections were "politically motivated."

"All of these were dismissed by An Bord Pleanala, but some submissions were made by very genuine people," added the Mayor.

"I'm absolutely delighted it has received planning. This is going to be very big for the city and I look forward to the revamped market. It will give it an entire lease of life and the litmus test will be to see it running up at 6pm at night," said the Mayor.

David O'Mahony, chairman of Limerick Market Trustees, said it has been a long process from concept to design and planning.

"The time in the planning process has actually worked in our favour. The economic environment now is more conducive to realistic tendering," said Mr O'Mahony.

He said the market will establish itself as the "must visit location" and will provide a boost to the local economy.

Under the plans the market is to be partially covered, but a petition submitted to An Bord Pleanala maintained that the market should be kept as an open and saved from "becoming a shopping mall."

However, the board found that the "translucent structure" of the tensile roofing should ensure that the open market atmosphere is not lost.

An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission with 10 conditions attached, and have ordered that a proposed structure on Mungret Court shall be omitted.

Trader Marie Hussey, who operates the Green Acres Cheese Shop at the Milk Market, said she felt the application would "have major implications for the quality of the market environment and the economic viability of current traders."

The Thomond Archaeological and Historical Society stated the "whole proposal is unwanted by traders..and is totally unnecessary." The society also stated that they believe the proposed tensile roof is an "intrusive new structure" and would change the character of the market.

The board found that "the development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, would not conflict with the provisions of the Limerick City Development Plan, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area."


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