Tipperary County Council has refused to grant a planning application form Boyle Sports 2 for the change of use of a licensed premises in Cashel to become a bookmakers. The application is in respect of a premises at 49 Main Street known as the Brian Boru lounge. The application includes internal alterations, extension to rear, external signage and associated site works.
The refusal is based on the Cashel and Environs Development Plan 2009(CEDP) which states that it is a policy of the Council “to strengthen the commercial, cultural and residential functions of the town centre, to seek improvements to the visual quality of the town centre as part of new development and to facilitate the appropriate redevelopment of the town centre subject to compliance with the development standards set out in the plan.”
The Council response says the proposed development, if permitted, would result in authorised bookmakers at No. 49 and No. 50 Main Street, Cashel. It is considered that a proliferation of this low value use at this location (also noting the existing bookmaker at Wesley Square) would have a negative impact on the quality and function of the town centre.
The CEDP contains no particular policies or objectives for betting offices however it is specifically stated that bookmakers are considered to hold a low value retail use.
The company currently trades at number 50 Main street and says that in the longer term it would move to trade solely at 49 Main street if permission is granted. The owner of 50 Main street is the only party to make a submission on the planning application – it says BoyleSports lease is due to run until 2027 and that if they leave an alternative bookmaker will operate from the premises. The planners report says “it is the policy of the Council to encourage the provision of high value retailing/food and drink facilities and active shop fronts at ground floor level in the Primary Retail Area(PRA). The application is outside but adjoining the PRA.
The council also says “it is considered pertinent that new development acts to strengthen the town centre particularly in light of the significant investment made in the town centre in recent years and the current UNESCO World Heritage Site bid.” The applicant may now choose to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.