The planning appeals board has given the go-ahead for a €100 million shopping centre at an abandoned site next to the Parkway Retail Park on the outskirts of Limerick city, according to a statement issued by Limerick Chamber of Commerce.
Belfast-based developer Suneil Sharma had been prevented by Limerick City and County Council from amending the planning permission already in place for the site and he appealed this to An Bord Pleanala who overturned the local authority ruling.
Thirteen objections, representing more than 60 businesses in the city and surrounding areas, were lodged against Mr Sharma’s plans to develop the partially built site, originally known as Parkway Valley and renamed as Horizon Mall.
Mr Sharma said that the Horizon Mall development will create hundreds of jobs and will incorporate Limerick’s first Marks and Spencer store as anchor tenant.
In a statement issued after the Bord Pleanala ruling, which will not be made public until Monday, Limerick Chamber spokesperson, Edwina Gore said that the Chamber was extremely disappointed that permission has been granted to develop the Horizon Mall.
“Limerick Chamber is concerned that the scale and extent of this development will have a direct and irrevocably negative impact on the vitality and viability of the city centre as the tier-one location within the region’s accepted retail hierarchy. We are also concerned, based on lessons from the past, that the development will have adverse consequences on the economic well-being of the City Centre as well as the tier-two district centres located in the wider metropolitan area as well as retail centres and towns located in the hinterland”, she explained.
“We will now hold discussions with key stakeholders to ensure that this development does not jeopardise and derail the €250 million Limerick 2030 plan which has the potential to deliver 5,000 new jobs.
“We strongly support and encourage the continued economic development of and investment in the region once it contributes to a healthy and attractive business environment and would not result in significant adverse effects on the vitality and viability of Limerick city centre and region.