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10 Aug 2022

Council CEO backed Shopping Centre plan to stimulate economic development in Tullamore

Council CEO backed Church Road development to stimulate economic development in Tullamore

An artist's impression of how the proposed Riverside Centre will look

IT has come to light that Offaly County Council CEO Anna Marie Delaney went against the recommendations of the council Planner to grant permission to a proposal to build a major retail-led mixed use development on Church Road, Tullamore.

In files published on the Offaly County Council planning website, Ms Delaney said: '' In deciding not to accept the Planner's recommendation to refuse permission, consideration was given that the proposal, specifically the larger retail units have the potential to stimulate economic development in Tullamore.''

This same development is now the subject of appeals to An Bord Pleanala.

Grapemont Limited is seeking to demolish existing buildings and structures on the former Coen site on Church road and to erect a retail-led, mixed use town centre development covering five blocks.

Block A would consist of a two storey retail building. Block B a two to three storey retail, cafe, restaurant and 8 residential apartments. Block C a single storey retail building. Block D a cinema. Block E a single storey retail unit with attached garden centre.

Offaly County Council granted permission for the development on December 11, 2019 but imposed 21 conditions.

In deciding not to accept the recommendations of the planner and give the proposal the green light, Ms Delaney added that, ''to mitigate the impact on the smaller retail units in the town centre,'' she was of the opinion that Block B should be omitted from the proposal.

Appeals were lodged last January with the people of Riverside in Tullamore objecting to the development and Grapemont appealing one of the conditions.

A spokesperson at An Bord Pleanala said they didn't think there will be any decision this year on the proposal by Grapemont Ltd.

A decision was due last May but when Covid struck that was postponed with no new date given for a decision.

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