Applegreen suffers another planning permission setback

An Bord Pleanála rejects plans for a service near Dromoland Castle...

Applegreen suffers another planning permission setback

The Applegreen service station outside Balbrigan in Co Dublin | Image:

Applegreen has failed to secure planning permission to build an €8 million service area close to Dromoland Castle in Clare.

The service station company was hoping to construct not only a convenience store and four-pump island with parking for 184 cars, but also five takeaway cafés and restaurants near the historic five-star hotel.

An Bord Pleanála's refusal to grant permission comes a mere month after the board knocked back plans from Supermac's to build a Barack Obama plaza-style service just eight kilometres away from the proposed Dromoland site.

It is also the second time that Applegreen has been refused planning permission at Dromoland and means the motorway linking Limerick to Gort – which carries over 23,000 vehicles a day – may not have a serviced stop for some time.

Objections on both occasions came from the nearby hotel itself. 

While Applegreen told an appeals board that it was fully compliant in terms of location and design, a comprehensive rejection was delivered with the board ruling that the site has not been identified for use as a Motorway Service Area (MSA) in either the National Road Authority's Service Area Policy or the Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017.

It found the proposed Junction 11 development to be premature when taking into account the pending implementation of a Transport Infrastructure Ireland plan to provide the area with an MSA.

Inspector Hugh Morrison concluded that Applegreen's plan "would risk the establishment of an adverse precedent that could lead to the proliferation of motorway service areas that would be incompatible with one another."