Thumbs down for Tesco Port

Tesco, Portarlington have been refused planning permission to build on a flood zone in Portarlington, for the second time.

Tesco, Portarlington have been refused planning permission to build on a flood zone in Portarlington, for the second time.

Pharaway Properties applied to Laois County Council to construct ten town centre shop units; a civic cente with outdoor leisure/tourism zone and car parking at the New Relief Road, off Market Square.

An Bord Pleanala rejected the retail giant’s first application back in November 2008, as they said the site off the link road for the store was in a special area of conservation. The planning body also said that the scale and bulk of the proposed building, and the unsatisfactory visual character of the service area compound would seriously injure the amenities of the area.

The site along the River Barrow was flooded after heavy rainfall in the town, while An Bord Pleanala were considering the application. Laois County Council refused the application on the basis that it was within a Flood Risk Zone and there was no Strategic Flood Rosk Assessment to determine the impact of the proposed development on the site and surrounding areas. The managers report said that the council was not satisified from the information submitted that the proposed development would not pose a threat of an increased risk of flooding.

The council were also unsatisfied at the lack of any Natura Impact Statement for the site, as it is located with an Special Area of Conservation. THe planning authority also said the development, as it was proposed, did not respect its sensitive location.

“The design and layout proposed would, if permitted, set a precedent for other such unacceptable designs in this sensitive area and would be visually obtrusive and detract from established amenities in the area,” the council planners said.

The council were also unhappy at the insufficient information submitted and they were not satisfied that the car parking could be adequately accommodated on the site.

There were also 14 objections to the planning applications raising concerns with respect to the flooding which has occurred on the site before, the lack of a need for additional retail units, the noise and traffic generated by the proposed development, and the impact on the SAC.