Friday 9 October 2009

Refusal makes Shannon scheme 'no longer viable'

A PROPOSED €60 million retail park for Shannon that was expected to create 600 jobs is no longer viable, according to one of the planning applicants after Clare County Council refused permission for one element of the scheme.

The council yesterday gave the go-ahead to Greenband Investments and Seán Halpin to build four retail warehouse units, a discount store, a motor showroom, a business centre and a medical centre at Smithstown, Shannon.

However, it refused permission for the “neighbourhood centre” element of the development, saying it would have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Shannon town. It said it would also contravene Department of the Environment retail guidelines relating to the location of neighbourhood centres.

The neighbourhood centre would house a small number of shops.

The applicants, who said they will likely appeal the decision, had already secured an anchor tenant for one of the retail warehouses, subject to planning.

“We are extremely disappointed with the decision as the project is not viable as a result of refusing the neighbourhood centre element of this retail development,” Mr Halpin said yesterday.

“Consequently, the Shannon community is going to be denied 600 direct, indirect and construction jobs and at a time when the area is being decimated by job losses.”

Mr Halpin added: “We will now examine our options, including and most likely an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, and will make a more detailed statement when we have had time to properly examine this decision.”

The Greenband development was due to create 250 direct jobs, 200 indirect jobs and 180 jobs during the construction phase.

Consultants for Greenband Investments told the council the retail park would generate €33 million in turnover per annum.

Irish Times

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