A NEW 10m Tesco store planned for Castleisland has been given the thumbs down by An Bord Pleanala. The UK supermarket chain had appealed an earlier decision not to grant permission for the retail outlet which would have created 100 jobs in the Co Kerry town. Although a report prepared by council officials had recommended allowing the proposed 2,480sq m store, councillors voted against the necessary contravention of the local area plan that would have cleared the way for the development.
In its appeal to the planning board, Tesco pointed out that despite the county council's refusal, local politicians supported the plan. The UK multiple also claimed surveys indicate that 54% of local residents have to travel to Tralee and Killarney to do their grocery shopping, a situation costing Castleisland over 15m in lost revenue annually.
The inspector's report prepared for the board stated that "given the isolated nature of this site together with the level of comparison goods offered, the development would not result in the continued vitality and viability of the town. The site is too peripheral in its location from the town centre to allow for one trip to serve a number of purposes and the development is not sustainable in this regard. The Retail Impact Assessment is not convincing in terms of the need for a store of this size.
"In my view the proposal to develop a major retail outlet at this location is an unsatisfactory approach to land use planning in the area. The proposed retail outlet would be an incongruous element in the middle of the emerging residential area at this side of the road and would act as a barrier to the development of community spirit and to the creation of an attractive residential area."
The board decided to refuse permission for the supermarket in accordance with these recommendations.
Tesco recently held an open day in Castleisland where it collected 300 signatures in support of its plans.