Game over for arcade as planning given thumbs down

One of the country’s top tourist town has given the thumbs down to a gaming arcade.

Planning permission has been refused by An Bord Pleanála for a sports centre in Killarney, Co Kerry, that would include a gaming machines section.

The appeals board upheld a decision by the town council which rejected the proposal on the grounds that the centre would be an amusement arcade and would therefore contravene the town development plan.

Promoter Jackie Murphy, applying through McCutcheon Mulcahy Chartered Planning Consultants in Ballincollig, Co Cork, had sought planning for change of use of a premises, currently used as bicycle shop, in College St/Clover’s Lane, Killarney.

The proposal was for an indoor sports and recreational centre, including three snooker tables, two table tennis tables, and 16 gaming machines.

The council has a policy of not allowing gaming in the urban area. It claimed the development would be an amusement arcade.

Mr Murphy disagreed and said the machines would be “ancillary” to the main use of the premises as a sports centre. The College St area has several hotels, bars, and nightclubs. Mr Murphy submitted that his proposal would also be “an additional attraction, not based on the consumption of alcohol”.

In a submission to the board, councillors Sean O’Grady, Donal Grady, and Niall O’Callaghan said the applicant Mr Murphy was already involved in the business of gaming machines in Cork City. They said such activity “would not be befitting to Killarney”.

The board accepted a recommendation by planning inspector Robert Speer to refuse the application. He said 16 gaming machines would not be ancillary to the development, which would be an amusement arcade and would contravene the town development plan.

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