Tesco Ireland has won an appeal over the refusal of permission for a cafe and outdoor seating area at a 0.525ho site adjacent to the Tesco store at Whitegates, Wicklow town.
Tesco's initial planning application submitted to Wicklow County Council sought permission to demolish the existing warehouse units on site, construct a cafe building with associated outdoor seating and landscape area as well as the provision of the additional customer car parking to serve the needs of existing Tesco supermarket and the proposed cafe.
The application also called for the demolition of all existing structures, including the boundary wall with the adjoining Tesco. One-hundred-and-eleven new car parking spaces would be integrated with the existing Tesco car park.
However, the Planning Section of Wicklow County Council refused permission on four grounds, including the proposed structure creating a 'discordant, inappropriate and visually incongruous feature' which would be out of character with the surrounding development.
The Planning Authority also ruled that the proposed cafe would have an unacceptable impact on the vitality and viability of the established core retail centre of Wicklow town.
The proposed car parking was also considered in excess of the requirements of both the existing supermarket and the proposed cafe.
Tesco Ireland appealed the decision of the Local Authority to An Bord Pleanála in January of this year.
An inspectors report and submissions were considered at a board meeting held on June 16 and it was decided to grant permission, generally in accordance with the inspector's recommendations.
Having considered the pattern of development in the area, the board ruled that the proposed development would constitute an appropriate form of development at this location and would not have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.
The board also found that the development would not seriously injure the visual amenities or character of the area, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience and would not have significant adverse effects on the environment.
Eleven car parking spaces will be omitted from the area directly to the east of the proposed café as part of amendments put in place by An Bord Pleanála.
The area of the plaza to the east of the café shall be extended with hard and soft landscaping. Both these measures should ensure a satisfactory parking layout in the interests of pedestrian and traffic safety, visual amenity, and to comply with the requirements of the County Plan.