Wednesday 26 October 2016

Supermac's won't play Trump card as it secures permission for €8m 'Obama style' plaza in Clare

Gordon Deegan

Published 21/01/2016 | 02:30

Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh aims to repeat the success of the Barack Obama plaza in Co Offaly. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh aims to repeat the success of the Barack Obama plaza in Co Offaly. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall

Supermac's boss Pat McDonagh yesterday secured planning permission for an €8m motorway plaza in Co Clare where he is looking to repeat the success of the Barack Obama plaza.

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Mr McDonagh is to build an Obama-style rest stop and drive-thru just off the motorway linking Limerick and Gort outside Ennis.

Mr McDonagh said yesterday that the development will create up to 100 jobs during the operation phase and up to 80 jobs during construction.

He added that a similar Supermac's plaza is to shortly open near Loughrea on the Dublin-Galway motorway. He is considering plans for a maximum of two other service areas on the country's motorway network.

Mr McDonagh said the Ennis plaza will be named after a person with Clare links.

However, he ruled out the plaza being named after US billionaire Donald Trump whose Clare association arises from his ownership of Doonbeg Golf Club on Clare's west coast.

He said: "It won't be the Trump plaza, I can guarantee you that. It is very early days yet but I'm sure we will get plenty of suggestions from people living in the area."

To be located at Kilbreckan, Doora, the service station building is to include a retail shop, restaurant and drive-thru.

"We're very happy that the decision is granted. It is good for everyone. This came about from Clare people passing through the Barack Obama plaza suggesting a plaza for Clare pointing out that there was no place to stop on the motorway between Limerick and Gort."

Provided that no appeal is lodged to An Bord Pleanála against the council decision, Mr McDonagh hoped construction would commence in April with the plaza open by November or December.

Mr McDonagh said the aim is to repeat the success of the Barack Obama plaza.

"That has gelled well into the area, providing a lot of local jobs and it has been a win-win situation there."

The council green-lighted the plan in spite of opposition from Supermac's rival in the service area arena, Applegreen, and the fact that the site is not currently zoned. In its objection, Applegreen claimed that "the scale and range of services located in close proximity to Ennis will negatively impact the town's services and will undermine the vitality and viability of the retail centre and existing petrol stations".

The National Roads Authority (NRA) also objected, stating that the plan "is at variance with official policy in relation to control of development on national routes… and contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area".

However, in its decision, the council said the plan would not have a negative impact on the vitality of Ennis's retail centre, would provide a much-needed facility for motorway users and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety.

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