The proposed Supermacs development on the Baillinalee road outside Longford town would have been contrary to Department of Environment guidelines issued in 2012, and contrary to government retail planning guidelines issued in 2005.
That’s according to Bord Pleanala which has published its reasons and considerations of the project on its website today.
There’s been widespread dismay at the news that the Supermacs development, likened to the Obama plaza style project in Moneygall, won’t be going ahead after all at Lisnamuck outside Longford town.
There had been hopes that the development would create up to 100 jobs and that a 4 star hotel would also form part of a second phase in the coming years.
The project had been given planning permission in February of this year by Longford County Council but that was then appealed to An Bord Pleanala and they ruled this week that it could not be allowed to go ahead.
The Reasons and Considerations laid out in the Bord Pleanala inspectors report says the refusal is down to two issues.
The first mentioned is the “Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines for Planning Authorities” issued by the Department of the Environment in January 2012.
These states that “facilities proposed for inclusion in service areas should be of a type that avoids the attraction of short local trips, and a class of traffic that is inconsistent with the primary intended role for motorways and other national roads.
The report also states that to permit a service area to become a destination for local customers would be contrary to the Retail Planning Guidelines of 2005, and would compromise the role and function of the national road network in the vicinity of the site, and threaten the viability and vitality of Longford town.
Supermacs has said it will not be making any comment on the decision by Bord Pleanala.
Meanwhile, there’s mixed reaction from business leaders in Longford to the decision.
Developers had maintained that it would have created up 100 jobs.
Fintan McGill, from Longford Chamber of Commerce says while it’s disappointing that they won’t come to pass, businesses would have been affected if it had been given the green light.