Plans in place to double size of suburban Limerick shopping centre

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

The existing Castletroy Town Centre and below, architect's impression of the new plan

The existing Castletroy Town Centre and below, architect's impression of the new plan

AMBITIOUS proposals to double the size of Castletroy Town Centre to include 17 new retail units are on the cards, the Limerick Leader can reveal.

In a move which could bring almost 100 jobs, UGP Castletroy SC has applied to planners to transform the centre near the Kilmurry Roundabout.

As part of the multi-million euro blueprint, the site, formerly known as the Castletroy Shopping Centre, will also increase to two storeys.

Two new anchor tenants will move in, being joined by 10 smaller outlets, four service outlets, and one cafe at first floor level, the plans show.

The development will also include a two-storey, three level car park to accommodate 607 car parking spaces, plus an additional 97 surface spaces.

The move has been welcomed by Senator Kieran O’Donnell, who said the plans represent a “confidence boost” for the area, as well as local councillor Michael Sheahan.

But James Ryan, who manages Centra in O’Connell Street and sits on the Chamber’s city centre task force, believes urban Limerick should be the only place where big developments happen.

He said: “Look back to what we spoke about five years ago – planning was going to take place in the city centre, and not much was going to happen outside. This has gone against it. It’s not in keeping with what was originally set.”

With various local and regional development plans prioritising city centre shopping, it remains to be seen what approach the planning authority takes to this.

An expansion to the Parkway Shopping Centre was rejected on the basis it would do damage to the city centre, as was the aborted Horizon Mall development at the Dublin Road.

But it allowed a small extension to the Crescent Shopping Centre.

While the developer was not available for comment, supporting documents provided to council suggest “significant care” as been taken to avoid a scenario “whereby the designated district centre at Castletroy would operate in a manner which would detract from higher tiered retail centres, particularly Limerick City.”

The rationale for the development, they added, is to serve the Castletroy population, projected to increase by 38% by 2022.

Supporting documents also state that in and around 75 jobs will be created.

Cllr Sheahan said he does not believe any expansion would represent a threat to the city centre

“The nature of the location, where it is, doesn’t allow a Crescent Shopping Centre style development,” he told the Limerick Leader.

The Council is expected to make a decision on the proposals by September 6 next.