Planning Authority decision regarding The Pier off-licence
At the metropolitian march meeting, Lar. Power District Manager outlined that the Planning Authority had considered all aspects in regards to a Proposed Development: For change of use of ground floor of existing off licence to restaurant and first floor apartment at The Pier, junction of Newtown Road and Cove Road, Tramore, Co. Waterford.
As a contravention of the Tramore Area Plan this rested with the members to decide as a reserved function; he advised that 13 votes (three quarters of the members) were required for the decision to grant. Cllr. Kelly stated that he was against proposal as residence had rights and extra traffic would cause inconvenience to residents. Cllr. Cummins noted that the existing use of the property was an off licence and he would prefer a restaurant at this location. Cllr. Conway outlined history of site and welcomed the proposed development in this area. Cllr. Mulligan enquired about using national newspapers for advertising the material contravention and noted existing zoning protects the amenity of existing residential development. Cllr’s. O’Neill and Sullivan enquired about the previous requirement to pay €25,000 as a contribution for car parking. Cllr. Griffin asked could decision on this matter be postponed. Cllr Sullivan advised that all residents were informed regarding this planning application. L. Power District Manager dealt with all questions raised.
The material convention was proposed by Cllr. Cummins, seconded by Cllr. Conway and put to the meeting. The vote, on a show of hands, was ten members in favour; four against and two abstentions. Having failed to get the required majority the motion was declared lost.
However, in response to this decision, an open letter was published in the Munster Express by Tony Walsh, he states that he held some concerns over the decision.
Mr Walsh noted that 10 members were in favour, four were against, two abstained and two others were not at the meeting.
He also states that none of the eight Councillors (including those absent) who did not vote in support of the proposal are resident in the Tramore area, which is significant in itself, as it’s not unreasonable to assume that they are probably unaware of some relevant facts. There were he conceded, some issues raised regarding parking, noise and smells from the proposed restaurant,. which he felt needed addressing. In his letter, he states:
This is a huge core customer base for the new venture and I ask what relevance does parking or lack of same have for these residents who are less than 15 minutes walk from the proposed restaurant?
Additionally most of the houses closer to the building have off-street parking and so there is ample room for some parking on these roads.
There are four restaurants on Main Street and Queen Street and while parking is allowed down one side of each street, there are rarely any parking spaces available, yet these restaurants thrive. Regarding noise and smells, I would make this comparison. Between Main Street and Queen Street, a distance of approximately 400 linear metres, there are nine restaurants and/or takeaways. I have never been aware of complaints from the residents of the inner town in connection with noise or smells from these premises, most of which have been in operation for years.
Mr Walsh concludes that he finds it puzzling and alarming that those who are, essentially, City Councillors, can veto the establishment of a new business venture in Tramore, which would have given direct employment to seven to ten people, with spin-off benefits for suppliers to the business. & believes that the decision they reached needs to be reversed.