An Bord Pleanala has granted permission to a new retail development at Abbeyleix’s Market Square, despite vehement objections from local residents and businesspeople.
Trenchant opposition grew locally to a proposal by Mr Patrick Sullivan to change the use of a large building at Market Square to retail units. Many felt the development would hurt local business and devalue homes in Market Square, with numerous submissions made to Laois County Council objecting to the plans.
Despite the opposition, the council granted permission to Mr Sullivan. In the wake of the council’s approval, an appeal was made to An Bord Pleanala by Ms Madeline Cahill and Ms Mary Kennelly, two local residents.
Permission has now been granted by An Bord Pleanala, subject to conditions.
“It is considered that the proposed development… would not seriously injure the amenity of the area of the vitality of the town centre, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience and would, therefore, be in accordance with proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” said An Bord Pleanala.
Among the conditions is the need for a construction management plan and waste management plan, proper water supply and drainage arrangements, public lighting to be provided, and details of all materials, colours and textures to be submitted.
All public and private property is to be protected at all times, and a financial contribution is to be paid to the planning authority.