Limerick retailer objects for second time to service station 3km from his own store

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

The site of the proposed development

The site of the proposed development at Holycross

A RETAILER has objected to plans for a new service station at Holycross outside Bruff in County Limerick by lodging an appeal with An Bord Pleanala for a second time.

Dan O’Flynn of O’Flynn’s Centra in Bruff, has appealed against the decision made on July 7 last by Limerick City and County Council to grant permission, subject to conditions, to Catherine Reardon care of Pat Boyce of Farrihy, Dromcollogher, for the development at Holycross.

The  development includes the construction of a new forecourt canopy, a retail shop, a deli, coffee area and kitchen, stores and freezer rooms, service room, managers accounts and staff offices.

Limerick City and County Council granted permission subject to a number of conditions.

The development site is located beside Reardon’s pub and  Holycross Football Club on the main Limerick to Bruff road.

The appellant, Dan O’Flynn, operates an existing service station and shop approximately 3km south of the appeal site, on the outskirts of the town of Bruff.

In files lodged with the local authority  last October, Mr Flynn of O’Flynn’s Centra in Bruff said “it is again my considered opinion that the service station design submitted does not conform with the recommendation listed in the County Development Plan.”

He goes on to state that “I note that the applicant has not demonstrated a need for the proposed redevelopment and reopening of a shop and filling station on this site. The simple facts are that the rural countryside in south/east County Limerick is littered with similar stations that have closed and are now derelict sites.

“There are a few examples of service stations stations in the vicinity of the site that are clearly not trading well and not viable in the long term. The successful service station are generally those situated in close proximity to villages and a larger urban population.

“I would again request that this development would ‘not be permitted in the open countryside’ as per your policy 10.6.4.5.

In July, 2017, the Limerick Leader reported how An Bord Pleanala has refused planning permission for a new service station at Holycross following an appeal by Mr O’Flynn.

The proposed development was to see the demolition of the existing service station and shop and the construction of a new service station which was to include a new forecourt canopy, a retail shop with a deli and coffee area, stores and freezer rooms, maintenance room, managers, accounts and staff offices, customer and staff toilets, staff canteen, electric vehicle charging point, air and water service area, car wash, vehicle parking and all associated works.

Documentation lodged with An Bord Pleanala, stated that it was Mr O’ Flynn’s view that, if given the go-ahead, the development would have “a detrimental effect” on his business.

The response of HRA Planning, agent on behalf of the applicant, Catherine Reardon, to An Bord Pleanala, made a number of points.

“The appeal is an attempt to protect the appellant’s commercial interest,” the response to An Bord Pleanala states.

“The planning code does not facilitate market interference.”

The An Bord Pleanala inspector recommended that permission be granted for the development subject to conditions.

However, it was the board’s decision to refuse permission for the proposed development.

The case currently before An Bord Pleanala is due to be decided on by November 30.