Pat McDonagh, Supermac’s founder
THE decision to refuse planning permission for a Supermac’s on the outskirts of Newcastle West, with the potential to create up to 50 or 60 full and part-time jobs, has been appealed to An Bord Pleanala.
Now, the company has lodged an appeal against the council decision but a decision from an Bord Pleanala is not expected until early December.
If permission is granted, it will be the first Supermac’s in the county but there are five currently operating in the city.
The planning application is for a petrol service station, shop, off-license and Supermac’s food court with seating for up to 80 people at Gortboy, about 70 metres from Lacey’s Cross on the N21 on the Limerick side of the town.
The proposed 1062 square development is for a 1.7 hectare site and consists of a two-storey building housing the shop, off-licence, food court and seating area with a drive-through as well as offices, a kitchen, underground fuel storage, fuel pumps and canopy.
Crucially, the application also includes a roundabout on the N21 to give access to the development from the main road. A flood risk assessment as well as a traffic audit were carried out and submitted as part of the application.
There were 12 objections to the proposal after it was lodged with Limerick City and County Council last year, one of the most comprehensive coming from the Newcastle West Business Association.
The Association claimed the application was invalid on technical grounds but also said it contravened the Newcastle West Local Area Plan as well as the County Development Plan.
Among the objections put forward by various people were that it was likely to be a traffic hazard or interfere with traffic flow into the town.
“As a traffic centred development”, it would not encourage motorists into the town centre, one objector stated.
Other objectors said there were sufficient food outlets and sufficient petrol stations in the Newcastle West area already while some objectors, close to the proposed site, said it was too big and would create too much noise.
The council sought further information but the application was refused in July on a number of grounds.
The application the council stated, was premature as the location for the distributor road and hence for a roundabout had not yet been finalised.
Furthermore, it stated, it is the objective of the council not to permit development that require a new access on to a national road “outside the 50km zone”.
The council also said that the size and scale of the development, where the food court and seating area are greater than the shop and petrol station, and “the car-borne nature of these services”, were “unacceptable” and could be detrimental to the vitality and viability of the town.
“These uses should be secondary to the use as a petrol filling station and should not adversely affect retail in the town.”
It also considered that the proposal was “not a combination of uses” in a mixed development zone.
Atlantic Enterprise Ltd, is a company based in Galway which carries out general construction of building and civil engineering works, and has two named directors Patrick and Una McDonagh.