PLANS BY Tesco to develop a new foodstore and off-licence along the floodplain of the River Barrow in Portarlington, Co Laoise, have been blocked by An Bord Pleanála.
Laois County Council had approved the plans despite the planning application acknowledging that the site was part of the floodplain. Tesco sought permission for 3,281sq m (35,316sq ft) plus an off-licence. It proposed flood relief works and access to a riverside walkway.
The board said it was not satisfied that the flood relief works would not have significant adverse effects on both the natural heritage of the area and the future use of the river and adjoining lands, including the loss of part of the floodplain and the associated risk of increased flooding of other lands in the vicinity. Tesco proposed to collect surface water on site and dispose of it into the river by a controlled pumping system.
During the hearing, Laois County Council admitted having granted outline permission for 36 homes on the same site. That permission has since expired.
Several parties appealing against the development argued that the location of the store would be in the most obtrusive and imposing position possible, that the building would detract from the visual amenity of the area and would have an adverse visual impact on the River Barrow.
The board inspector said he agreed that the supermarket at this location would have a significant detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the area.