THE CONSTRUCTION company co-owned by Westlife singer Shane Filan has been given the go ahead for a €3 million development in Dromahair village, Co Leitrim.
Leitrim County Council had refused permission for the three-storey building incorporating supermarket, gym and creche on the main street but An Bord Pleanála has overturned that decision. Earlier this year Sligo-based Shafin Developments, which is owned by Filan and his brother Finbarr, got permission for a 50-bed nursing home in Dromahair.
The company also got the go ahead for an 80-bed nursing home and a “neighbourhood centre” comprising shops, apartments, creche and a medical centre in Sligo.
Fine Gael councillor John McTernan expressed disappointment with the planning board’s decision, saying the development, which was the subject of more than 60 objections, was not needed in Dromahair and would damage the viability of two other supermarkets in the village.
The company has been given the go ahead to demolish a hotel and restaurant and proceed with the development, but the permission is subject to 18 conditions.
Cllr McTernan said given the impact of cross-Border shopping in the area, it would be very hard for the two existing family-owned supermarkets to survive if this project proceeds. The board found that given the central location of the site in Dromahair, the established use of the site for commercial use and the pattern of development in the vicinity, that the proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or the vitality or viability of property in the vicinity, and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety.
This is the second time the board approved this project. An earlier decision was stalled after it emerged that one objection had been mislaid during the process.Shafin had argued that the proposal complied with the Retail Planning Guidelines, the County Retail Strategy, the County Development Plan and the Dromahair Village Framework Plan and that the proposed retail floor area of 370sq m was modest in scale in the context of guidelines.