Applegreen opposes McDonagh’s new forecourt bid

Gordon Deegan

Forecourt operator Applegreen is leading the charge against plans by Supermac’s owner Pat McDonagh to build a €10m motorway plaza on the Limerick to Galway motorway.

Applegreen’s Petrogas Group has lodged a strongly-worded objection to the project at Skehanagh outside Ennis on the M18.

The plan has also attracted the opposition of businesses in Ennis, Co Clare, but has the support of 187 individuals.

Mr McDonagh has failed for the past four years with a plan to build the first forecourt on the motorway. Supermac’s said the forecourt will provide 100 jobs.

Supermac’s already has plazas at the ‘Barack Obama’ plaza at Moneygall in Co Offaly and another plaza near the M6 at Loughrea in Co Galway.

In its objection, consultants for Petrogas said the proposal is contrary to national policy for motorway services and doesn’t comply with Transport Infrastructure Ireland plans.

It would also affect shops in Ennis, the consultants said. The plan is also facing opposition with a number of prominent Ennis businesses, including the Old Ground Hotel, the Temple Gate Hotel and the Hotel Woodstock, as well as local service stations.

The objectors claim the food and tourist information forecourt would harm Ennis and Clarecastle.

Mr McDonagh first lodged plans at the site in 2014 and was subsequently granted approval by Clare Co Council only to be turned down by Bord Pleanála, in 2016.

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