Meadows and Byrne prepare for opening

Published 15/10/2013 | 05:38

THE new Meadows and Byrne Lifestyle Centre at Drinagh, on the outskirts of Wexford town, is to open on schedule on the same day as the opening of the Wexford Opera Festival.

THE new Meadows and Byrne Lifestyle Centre at Drinagh, on the outskirts of Wexford town, is to open on schedule on the same day as the opening of the Wexford Opera Festival.

The planned October 23 opening is a triumph for the four businesses involved and for developer Barry Kehoe following months of frustration caused in the main by opposition from a town centre business.

Mr. Kehoe said fitting out would take place at an intense pace over the next 10 days.

'We've been working hard for the past three weeks,' he said, and will be working harder over the next 10 days.'

The four businesses opening in the centre at Meadows and Byrne, Kelly's Cafe, run by Rosslare hotelier Bill Kelly, Sweeney's Garden Centre and Michael Farrell Custom Furniture.

Between them, the businesses are expected to employ some 70 people, split between part- and full-time posts.

'It's all systems go,' said Bill Kelly, waiting for a pizza oven to come in from France for his new cafe.

'It's an exciting and interesting project,' said Bill, in what is his first business foray outside Rosslare.

'It drove me mad to see so many people come into the port of Rosslare and just disappear out of Wexford,' he said, 'that was my main motivation and I think something like this Meadows and Byrne development will be good for the whole area, drawing in customers from places like Waterford, capturing passing trade and serving local people as well.'

Kelly's Cafe, he said, would employ 12 people during its start up phase and will be open seven days a week from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a little later on Sundays.

While two of the businesses which took part in the initial opposition to the project are no longer involved, Barkers (Ltd) still has an appeal before An Bord Pleanala.

In the appeal Barkers (Ltd) say the broad range of goods normally sold at Meadows and Byrne outlets would constitute a material change of use of the Drinagh unit and would therefore be development, not exempted development.

It also sets out its concerns about the effect on town centres of out of town developments as well and whether or not the use of a subdivided unit at the Drinagh Retail Park by Meadows and Byrne is or not development, or is or not exempted development.

New Ross Standard

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