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Cautious welcome given to retail development plans

Story by Tom Kelly

Tuesday, 7th August, 2012 9:30am

Cautious welcome given to retail development plans

The land on which the new development is proposed.

Menolly Homes, developer of Dunboyne Castle estate, has submitted a planning application to Meath County Council for the unfinished section of the estate located at the Rooske Road entrance.

The developer is seeking permission for a neighbourhood centre comprising a fully licensed anchor retail convenience store (gross floor area 1158 m2); two secondary retail units (gross floor areas 103m2 each); coffee shop/cafe (114m2) and community room (75m2); 104 parking spaces, cycle parking, extension of existing cycle-path and footpath, landscaping, boundary treatments and development works on an overall site of 2.4 acres.

The Dunboyne Castle Residents Association has made a submission to the Meath County Council Planning Department. In their submission they have broadly welcomed the development but have only raised concerns and recommended alterations. The residents association has met with representatives of Menolly Homes and they have given a favourable response to the majority of their proposals.

Their proposals include a permanent pathway in the wooded area linking the car park of the new development with the Gaelscoil, an increase in the size of the wall around the development and all retail units to close by 9pm with a guarantee that there can never be permission given for any form of fast food outlet or off-license within the units.

Eugene Dowling of the residents association explains that a possible take-away in this retail centre is a key issue for the residents.

"Our concern as a Residents group has always been about a take-away and the anti-social behaviour it might bring at night-times," he said.

The developer of the estate, Menolly Homes has had previous plans for this site approved by Meath County Council. In 2010, Menolly was granted planning permission for a nursing home on the 2.39 acre site behind the Gaelscoil. Subsequently, they also get planning permission for three two-storey blocks comprising of a crèche, medical centre and retail shops.

However, it seems on this occasion, that if this proposal is approved, the chances of development are strong as, according to Cllr Maria Murphy, "an anchor tenant has been secured".

There have been other objections to this retail development with Eurospar Dunboyne and another local retailer Michael Ryan making submissions. Given these submissions it now looks like a final decision on planning has been delayed.

The original date indicated for a decision was 26th July but the council have now put their decision on hold as they await further information.

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