The proposed Marlton Quarter proposed by Lusra Teoranta has been refused. This planning application would have provided a shopping mall, multiplex cinema, medical centre, leisure facilities, youth centre, hotel and leisure complex, bowling alley, pubs, cafes and restaurants, offices, residential units, and crèches.
Edel Bermingham, Wicklow County Council planner, identified the following reasons for refusal:
1. Having regard to the location of the development, on a Greenfield site at the edge of Wicklow Town, the pattern and character of surrounding development, the scale and massing of the development, it is considered that the proposed development would represent over-development of the site, would be visually intrusive and would seriously injure the amenities of adjoining residential development and would materially contravene the objectives of the Local Area Plan for Action Area 6 which require that the development be non-intrusive and residential amenity be protected at all times. The development would therefore be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development.
2. Given the location of the development with respect to Wicklow Town and having regard to:
i. Retail Planning Guidelines.
ii. Greater Dublin Area Retail Strategy.
iii. Wicklow County Draft Retail Strategy.
iv. Local Area Plan for Action Area 6 2006-2012.
v. Wicklow and Environs Integrated Framework for Land Use and
vi. information contained in the Environmental Impact Statement, and further information.
It is considered the size and scale of development would be excessive having regard to the existing core area of Wicklow town, would not link effectively with the existing town centre so that there is commercial synergy between the development and the town and is therefore likely to have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Wicklow Town centre, contrary to proper planning and sustainable development.
3. It is considered that the development would materially contravene the zoning objective for the site as set out in the Local Area Plan for AA6 2006-2012 i.e.
‘To provide for a retail and mixed use development centre in conjunction with the
Masterplan for the overall development, and to provide for high density residential development, and to identify, reinforce, strengthen and promote urban design concepts and linkages with the existing town centre activity areas’.
The development as proposed has not established synergy with the existing town centre and would therefore be contrary to the objectives as set out and to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
4. Having regard to the Environmental Impact Statement it is considered that inadequate assessment has been carried out with respect to the following :
a. Traffic impact.
b. Examination of retail development with respect to alternatives.
c. Car parking provision.
In the absence of such information the development is likely to be contrary to the amenities of the area, give rise to a traffic hazard and traffic obstruction and would not accord with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
The applicant now has to decide whether to appeal.