A group of Ennis Chamber retailers have come together in an attempt to prevent a planned Barack Obama style motorway plaza on the outskirts of the county town from going ahead.
Supermacs owner Pat McDonagh last month lodged fresh plans for a 10 million euro development at Junction 12 of the M18 Motorway at Skehanagh, but this has been met with concern from retailers over the impact on existing businesses.
The group of objectors are from existing businesses involved in the convenience grocery, forecourt, general retail, hospitality and tourism sectors in Ennis.
Amongst them are Hogan’s Mace, Ryan’s Centra, Donnellan’s Centra, The Old Ground Hotel, Temple Gate Hotel, Hotel Woodstock, Treacy’s West County Hotel, County Boutique and The Woollen Market.
They say that while they’re not opposed to an online motorway service, as set out under TII guidelines, they do object to an offline development of this magnitude, located at the cusp of the commuter corridor serving Shannon and Limerick.
The development is to include a service station, convenience shop, food court, children’s play area and picnic area, 16 charging points for electric cars and over a hundred parking spaces.
The retailers have raised a number of concerns including traffic issues, the visual impact of the proposed development on the rural landscape and say the proposed development is contrary to National and County Development Plan Policies.
The group also fears it will result in jobs displacement from existing businesses, forcing them to close, and a negative impact on businesses en route to the county’s tourism hotspots.