Bord Pleanala overrule their Inspector in granting permission for filling station

AN Bord Pleanala’s decision to grant permission, subject to conditions, for a filling station and drive through restaurant in Carrick-on-Shannon this week was against the recommendation of its own Inspector.

AN Bord Pleanala’s decision to grant permission, subject to conditions, for a filling station and drive through restaurant in Carrick-on-Shannon this week was against the recommendation of its own Inspector.

The development by Gerard Reynolds consists of a petrol filling station with a kiosk, forecourt with canopy, totem sign and other advertising signage, parking and landscaping and underground storage tanks with access from the internal access road with Rosebank Retail Park, Attirory Townland, Carrick-on-Shannon and ancillary site development works.

The development also includes a drive through restaurant with car parking, including totem sign and other advertising, with access onto the internal access road with Rosebank Retail Park, landscaping and ancillary site development works.

Minor improvements to the geometry of the N4 roundabout and the inclusion of pedestrian crossing points to link the site to the Rosebank Retail Park are also included.

An appeal against the decision of Leitrim County Council on May 29, 2012 to grant permission was lodged by Martin Kane of Drummaunroe, Jamestown, Carrick-on-Shannon, and EMCA Catering Limited, Emac Catering Limited, Kevin Kennedy, RGDATA, Irish Petrol Retailers Association, Mike Dalton, ML Gannon and Sons Ltd., The Society of the Irish Motor Industry, County Leitrim and County Roscommon Concerned Traders Group, Carmel Lunney, John McCormack, National Parks and Wildlife Service.

An Bord Pleanala, in overruling their Inspector’s recommendations stated, “Having regard to the location of the site in a retail park, the zoning of which, as amended by variation in accordance with the core strategy of the Carrick-on-Shannon Local Area Plan, 2010 - 2016 in 2011, to that of Commercial Town Expansion, the planning history of the site and the design of the proposed development, it is considered that the proposed development would not give rise to congestion on the National primary Route, the N4, would be flood resilient and subject to compliance with the conditions set out below, would not constitute a risk of water pollution. The proposed development would therefore be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

“In deciding not to accept the Inspector’s recommendation to refuse permission, the Board considered that the land where the site is located has been deemed strategic for town expansion purposes and that the proposed uses are acceptable in principle in the zoning. The Board was satisfied that the proposed development complied with the standards for finished floor levels for developments in lands prone to flooding as set out in the development plan and that a more detailed flood risk assessment was not therefore required.

“The Board was further satisfied that the proposed development, which provided for more controlled access and significantly larger stacking facility on site and improvements to the existing road network than that previously refused, would not exacerbate traffic congestion in the area and would not obstruct traffic in the vicinity.”

The Inspector had stated in her report, “The site of the proposed development is located within the floodplain of the River Shannon and in an area which has been the subject of flooding in recent years. It is the policy of current Carrick-on-Shannon Local Area Plan only to permit development in the floodplain that is of significant strategic importance for the town and where the mitigated impact on the floodplain is acceptable.

“Having regard to the specific nature of the proposed development (petrol filling station and drive through restaurant) and the absence of a sufficiently detailed Flood Risk Assessment for the proposed development, it is considered that the development would conflict with the specific policy of the Development Plan for the area (which is considered to be reasonable) and would, therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

“The site of the proposed development is located beside the N4 National Primary Road and is accessed from a roundabout which currently serves a number of uses that generate a high volume of traffic and which give rise to traffic congestion. It is considered that the applicant has not adequately demonstrated that the proposed development, which would give rise to a significant increase in traffic movements in the vicinity of the N4 roundabout junction and Rosebank Retail Park, will not exacerbate the existing level of congestion and give rise to traffic hazard. Accordingly, it is considered that the proposed development at this location would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and obstruction of road users.”