Limerick/Gort service stop battle heats up

Forecourt operator, Applegreen, has moved to get ahead of Supermac’s and be the first to provide a motorway service stop along the M18, connecting Limerick to Gort.

Earlier this year, Clare County Council granted planning permission for Supermac’s to develop an €8m fast food/motorway service outlet on the M18, outside Ennis.

However, rival, Applegreen, blocked this by appealing the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Applegreen trades from 200 sites in Ireland, the UK, and the US, but its application for a rival motorway service stop 8kms from the Supermac’s site was refused by Clare County Council last month.

The council refused after the nearby, five-star Dromoland Castle lodged an objection against the proposal. However, Applegreen has now lodged an appeal, with An Bord Pleanála, against the council decision, in relation to its own plans.

In its appeal, Applegreen again takes aim at the council decision to give the Supermac’s plan the go-ahead. It states the decision should not have been made, as it represented a material contravention of the County Development Plan.

Regarding the Supermac’s plan, Applegreen say that, “given the proximity to Ennis town and the range of services provided, it is inevitable that the proposed development will become a local destination in its own right, competing directly with local petrol stations and local shops and restaurants in Ennis”.

Applegreen also say that Supermac’s planned building design and scale were unsuitable for the rural location, and should be refused on negative visual-impact grounds.

The firm further contends that there is no rationale in the draft County Development Plan as to why the Supermac’s site should be the only location along the M18 for a motorway service area.

Applegreen also say that its plan “is not contrary to national policy for the provision of off-line services”.

A decision on the appeal is due in August.


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