New bid to fast track two major commercial developments delayed in Offaly

Gearoid Keegan

Reporter:

Gearoid Keegan

New bid to fast track two major commercial developments delayed in Offaly

New bid to fast track two major commercial developments delayed in Offaly

A new bid is set to be made fast track two major commercial developments that have been delayed in Offaly

Offaly Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen is going to propose legislation aimed at freeing up the logjam which is delaying two key commercial developments in the county.

Deputy Cowen accused An Bord Pleanala of “sitting on” two Offaly projects which together are worth about €60m.

One of them is a meat factory in Banagher proposed by Banagher Chilling while the other project is a commercial, retail and cinema development, Riverside Centre in Tullamore, planned by Flanagan Properties.

Both got the go-ahead from Offaly County Council's planners but have been appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

“I am preparing a Bill which will propose amendments to existing planning legislation to address this,” said Deputy Cowen.

“I will put the Bill to Fianna Fail colleagues for consideration which will place a statutory time period by which An Bord Pleanala will have to make decisions in future.”

The Riverside project is located at Church Road, close to Tullamore town centre.

In addition to the retail units and the cinema, it is envisaged that there will be cafes and restaurants in the complex.

Planning permission for it was first granted in December 2019.

It will create an estimated 100 jobs during construction and as many as 240 when it is operational.

The developers, headed up by Tony Flanagan, described it as a €20m project which will add significantly to the retail offering in Tullamore and bring vibrancy to the town.

Banagher Chilling received planning consent in July last year and the project has been with An Bord Pleanala since August.
Banagher Chilling is a Chinese-backed project said to be worth about €40m.