‘No’ to more fast food premises, says community group in Tallaght

‘No’ to more fast food premises, says community group in Tallaght

By Mary Dennehy

High Street Pizza 1 resizedA COMMUNITY group has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála concerning planning permission granted for a fast food outlet in Tallaght village – due to a “proliferation” of take-away shops in the area.

As reported in The Echo last month, the Tallaght Community Council [TCC] and a number of local councillors objected to a planning application lodged with South Dublin County Council for the change of use of an existing taxi office to a pizza take-away shop in the Tallaght Retail Centre on the High Street.

The application received six objections, lodged by Tallaght Community Council [TCC] and five councillors, all of which cited an overabundance of one type of outlet in the village.

TCC stressed that it is not against this particular applicant but that it was of the opinion that a wide range of food outlets, providing fresh, high-quality food such as bistros and restaurants, should be encouraged into the village.

The community council also stressed the need for a rates-led scheme to be introduced to entice a better business mix into the village and High Street.

The application which sparked much debate over the type of businesses in the village also prompted Fianna Fáil councillor Charlie O’Connor to say: “I definitely have sympathy with TCC’s view that there is a lack of diversity in and around the village and that a strong retail mix needs to be attracted into the area.

“However, a person with a business plan, a viable business plan which can create jobs, should be given every opportunity to open up shop.”

Planning permission was granted earlier this month by South Dublin County Council which, believed to be for an Apache Pizza takeaway, has now been appealed by TCC to An Bord Pleanála.

Tara De Buitlear, the chair of TCC, told The Echo: “Our grounds are that the 2006 and 2011 local area plans for this area have not been complied with and already having 13 fast food takeaways within High Street, Main Street and the Belgard Retail Centre constitutes a proliferation of takeaways in this area and it should have been refused.

“TCC want to see vibrant, diverse and active day-time and night-time activity on the High Street to link the village with the new urban centre.

“There is a complete lack of a real mix of retail outlets on this street to make it live up to its name and proposed function.
“Independent traders, with a rich mix of shops need to be actively encouraged on the High Street – another fast food take-away, to add to the existing 13 in the High Street / Belgard retail centre and village, is not going to add depth to the retail offering or activity on the High Street.

“If the current planning policy is not encouraging a wider mix of retail outlets – for example, shoe shops, news agents, boutiques, butchers, gift shops, book shops, craft shops etc. – then SDCC need to rethink their policy and strategy for the High Street.

“TCC will not tolerate the laissez faire attitude in the village area. A strong vision for this area is needed.”

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