German discount supermarket chain Lidl is planning to open a store in Wellpark Retail Park.
Radical Properties – which owns the retail park – has sought permission for a change of use of the former PC World premises from bulky retail use to a discount supermarket with off licence.
The plans also involve creating a new customer lift in the opposite block (at Petmania) to the basement carpark.
Around 25 new jobs would be created if the proposal is given the go ahead by City Hall.
According to the application: “Wellpark Retail Park is an established independent retail centre and the proposed development will enhance the range of goods and services which is offered there. The addition of a convenience store to the retail park will not materially diminish the prospect of attracting private sector investment within the city centre.
“It will enhance the competitiveness of the convenience retail sector in the catchment area and will attract further customers to the retail park. All of the existing stores within the park are likely to derive a complementary benefit from an increase in the number of shoppers who will visit.”
The applicants pointed out that a similar application in 2006 for a change of use at an adjacent unit in the retail park was rejected as the plans did not comply with the provisions of the CI (Commercial/Industrial) zoning.
However, the applicants point out that a specific objective was inserted in the City Development Plan 2017-23, so that the Council could consider a “full range of retail uses”, including for supermarkets with a net retail area of less than 2,500 square metres. The application is for a store with a net retail space of less than 1,000 sq m.
Radical Properties is now owned by property fund Alanis Capital. Its previous owner, Gerry Barrett, made a submission to the City Council in 2016 as part of the drafting process for the City Development Plan asking that a planning stipulation be ‘relaxed’ in a bid to tackle the “disproportionately high” failure of bulky goods retails in Wellpark Retail Park.
Under the previous City Development Plan, there was an objective that the retail park could only cater for bulky goods and local retailing needs.
“The disproportionately high failure rate of a number of bulky good operators within Wellpark has impacted on the attractiveness of the existing floorspace to new operators and existing more durable tenants.
“If a more diverse range of retail mixes were permitted, it would allow the current vacancy rate within the Park to be reduced and ensure additional footfall, increased vitality and commercial synergy at this central location,” Mr Barrett’s submission read.
During a discussion in 2016 on whether to lift planning restrictions, Councillor Peter Keane described the retail park as an “abject failure” and said it would have collapsed long ago, only for the persistence of Mr Barrett in trying to reinvent it.
A decision on the current application is due on March 24.
Gardaí issue warning on ‘movie money’
Gardaí have warned of an increase in ‘novelty’ euro notes – which are almost identical to real currency – in circulation.
The notes are usually marked ‘movie money’ or ‘prop money’, but this can often go unnoticed by the person handling it. They do not have any security features.
Revenue Officers have seized notes in varying denominations representing a value of €430,895 in recent mail centre detections.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “People need to be aware that such notes exist and at busy times, especially late at night, they need to exercise a little care and attention.
“These notes are easily identifiable if precautionary checks are made. Also people who try to tender such notes as real face prosecution, a possible prison sentence and a conviction, which is for life. Such convictions have serious ramifications if one wanted to travel, to work in certain sectors and it can affect their credit rating”.
“We advise businesses and members of the public who deal in cash to be aware that such notes are in circulation and take appropriate precautionary measures. Business owners should ensure staff members handling cash are alerted to watch out for these fraudulent notes.
“The use of fraudulent currency when trying to purchase goods or services is an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and carries a potential prison sentence of 10 years.
“These fraudulent notes should not be accepted as legal tender and any incidents of persons trying to pay with “prop money” should be reported to Gardaí immediately,” said Det Supt Cryan.
Fire at site of former Corrib Great Southern Hotel
Emergency services are at the scene of a large fire at the site of the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel which broke out in the early hours of this morning.
Four units of the Galway Fire and Rescue Service were called to the former hotel near GMIT at 5.45am. A unit from Athenry is also in attendance at the scene.
Fire fighters are maintaining a presence at the derelict hotel, which has been the scene of a number of arson attacks over the past number of years.
Three refused bail on violent disorder charges
Three men who were arrested this morning as part of a Garda investigation into violent disorder at a funeral in Mervue last year, have been denied bail by a District Court Judge.
Denis Hannafin, Curry; Robbie Hannafin, Corboy, Edgeworthstown and Tommy Hannafin, Dublin Road – all in Longford – were charged with violent disorder in connection with an incident which occurred outside Holy Family funeral home on in January 13 last year.
Detective Garda Ronan Leonard told the court this morning that CCTV footage showed a number of members of the Hannafin family outside the funeral home on January 13, 2019, at approximately 3.15pm, when a number of members of the McGinley family made their way towards them.
An altercation ensued, which resulted in one member of the McGinley family suffering a gunshot wound, while another received a stab wound to the back. A third man suffered acid wounds.
Gardaí explained that there is a feud going on between the two families, which began when juvenile members of the families got into a fight at a pool hall.
Detective Leonard voiced concerns that if the three accused were granted bail, they would commit further offences and intimidate members of the McGinley family.
Judge Seamus Hughes had remanded the three accused in custody to Harristown District Court next Friday, February 28.