independent

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Local traders fear that large retailer will 'obliterate' them

Published 04/09/2012|18:16

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Andy Kelly of the Eurospar at Feltrim Shopping Centre believes the scale of the proposed development 'could not be justified'.

TRADERS already operating in the Holywell area are concerned about plans to build a full supermarket in the estate with one saying the development would 'obliterate' existing retailers.

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That was the claim from Ger Ralph who operates the Spar shop in the estate. He has lodged a formal objection to the planning application for a supermarket development, which is understood to have Tesco as its likely tenant. The absence of a clear indication on the planning application which retailer is bound for the proposed development is just one of the objections Mr Ralph raises in his submission. He said allowing the large retailer to enter the area would be allowing the 'usurping' of smaller businesses in the area and would 'detract from or obliterate' existing retailers serving the Holywell area. The scale of the development and the capacity of the site to accommodate it is also a concern for Mr. Ralph who said the floor space of the development is twice that envisaged for the site. The feeling was the same at the Eurospar in the nearby Feltrim Shopping Centre where store boss, Andy Kelly also lodged a formal objection to the project. He said the scale of the proposal 'could not be justified' and that it would draw people away from the town centre against local and national policies to 'enhance the vitality and viability of town centres such as Swords'. Mr. Kelly makes four key objections to the proposed project saying it is of 'excessive scale', that it would reduce trade in the town centre of Swords, that its location would draw customers from a wide area and would create ' excessive traffic' through the residential area of Holywell. A group of local traders from Holywell and Feltrim also got together to object the project who also claimed that the supermarket would not only negatively impact their businesses but also have a negative impact on the centre of Swords. They argue that there is not enough spend available in the retail market in Holywell to justify the development. Quoting a GDA Retail Strategy document, the traders say there is a spend of about €14 million available in the area and the Feltrim Eurospar and Holywell Spar already account for more than €8 million of that available income. Despite that leaving less than €6 million available for any new retailer, if existing businesses are not impacted, the supermarket proposal claims it can realise an annual turnover of more than €22 million by 2015.

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