Saturday 20 January 2018

Supermac's in fresh bid to build Ireland's newest motorway stop

Barack Obama Plaza
Barack Obama Plaza

Gordon Deegan

Supermac's supremo Pat McDonagh is making a second bid to have in place a Barack Obama Plaza-style motorway service area in Co Clare.

Mr McDonagh confirmed yesterday that fresh plans for a motorway stop outside Ennis are to be lodged with Clare County Council in the coming days.

The first step in lodging the plans - a newspaper notice concerning the planning application - has been published.

Last month, An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission to Mr McDonagh for a rest stop and drive-thru just off the motorway linking Limerick and Gort outside Ennis.

Supermac's has a plaza outside Moneygall in Co Offaly and another recently opened plaza near the M6 at Loughrea in Co Galway.

Currently, there is no motorway plaza on the motorway linking Limerick to Gort. An Bord Pleanála last week refused planning permission to separate plans by Applegreen for a motorway near Dromoland Castle.

In an interview yesterday, Mr McDonagh said: "There were a lot of disappointed people the last time we were refused, including ourselves, needless to say."

He said: "We had local people ringing saying they were disappointed and we took huge encouragement from that. We're trying again and hopefully we will be more successful this time around." The plan involves the creation of 100 jobs during the operational phase and 80 jobs during the construction phase.

Clare County Council gave the scheme the go-ahead earlier this year, but appeals lodged against the decision by Applegreen, local business, Claureen Service Station and local man Shane Brigdale put the case before An Bord Pleanála.

Applegreen and Claureen Service Station withdrew their appeals with Mr Brigdale remaining the only appellant.

The appeals board refused planning on three grounds and found that the proposed development, by reason of its design, would not integrate satisfactorily with the rural and predominantly flat landscape in the hinterland of Ennis.

The outstanding appellant in the case, Mr Brigdale, told the board that he had a right of way across the Supermac's site and raised other concerns around the Supermac's plan.

A submission to the board on behalf of Supermac's stated that Mr McDonagh acknowledges that Mr Brigdale has a right of way and has sought to come an accommodation with him regarding this right of way.

"The resolution of this matter is outside the remit of this appeal and other mechanisms are in place to resolve same," the submission stated.

Irish Independent

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