Planning change brewing at major Kerry retail park

Kerry’s largest retail park is to have a standalone “grab and go” after An Bord Pleanála ruled planning guidelines at Manor West had been applied too narrowly.

The business park is zoned for retail warehousing and strict controls were laid down under the Tralee town development plan.

Planning at the park had been enforced by the former Tralee Town Council so the site would not detract from the viability of the commercial heart of the county town.

In 2007, the council had refused to back a material contravention of the plan to allow a major store by Marks and Spencer in Manor West park. The retail giant had also offered, at the time, to open a second smaller store in the town centre but a majority of councillors refused to support the proposal.

The decision was upheld at the time by An Bord Pleanála, and in a shock move Marks and Spencer located its store in Killarney.

Meanwhile, there were no local objections to a planning application by consultants Bryant Park, care of BMA Planning of 128 Lower Baggot St, Dublin to build a standalone single-storey café with outside seating on the paved area at the main entrance to the Manor West park.

The applicant challenged the council planners’ interpretation that retail warehousing only allows for the sale of bulky goods, garden centres and such, and said retail parks nationwide now had cafes.

Planning inspector Kenneth Moloney agreed and said the Tralee town development plan was applied incorrectly by the council planners. There was a precedent in Naas whereby Kildare County Council refused permission for a café in a retail park and it was overturned by the appeals board, he noted.

What was being proposed for Tralee was not a restaurant, he also said.

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