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Another Shopping Centre Planned for Thurles

Thurles.info was created to provide a community news, discussion and information portal for the people of Thurles and indeed the County of Tipperary as a whole.

Currently this successful website is viewed by up to 1,100 visitors and growing each day.  Close to 400,000 visitors world wide, will have scrolled through it’s pages in just the past 3 years alone.

Most welcome are the daily contributions from our readers, many of whom comment on our daily blogs or advise us regarding countywide events, happening in their area.

Persons wishing to use this site, be it to advertise their business or to make their feelings known on important issues, should contact us by using the “Contact Us” Tag on top of our Home Page.

Meanwhile back to today’s business.

This morning I received an interesting letter from Joan Pollard Carew, who because of her positive community action in Thurles and it’s environs, down through the years, and particularly her association and promotion of the Arts, hardly needs an introduction from me.

However, may I also state that the sentiments expressed in Joan’s letter, which I for one fully support, must also reflect the thoughts and views of many business people experiencing trading difficulties in Thurles at this time.  Please read on.

[To Thurles.Info: I would be happy for you to publish this on your website – Joan Pollard Carew.]

The Tipperary Star newspaper, dated Thursday 8th September, ran a featured article on its front page, advising readers that yet another shopping centre was being proposed for Thurles.  Development of our town is close to my heart but not at the expense of our town centre.

This new facility will have 397 car parking spaces, no doubt free for customers to this centre. Surely this begs the question of our shoppers, “Why would we shop in the town centre and pay for limited parking, when we can do so for free?” Traders in the town centre need to immediately form a “Traders Association,” to have a representative body arrange an urgent meeting with Thurles Town Council.

As a trader and rate payer in the town centre, it is imperative that we lobby for free parking for our customers. This would enable us to compete on a level playing field and give shoppers a fairer choice.

When parking charges was introduced we were told that the money earned was to be utilised for traffic management. I wish someone could point out that project to me. Apart from unnecessary traffic lights, there is no visible traffic management that I can see.

Most retail businesses in our town centre are family run and employ local people. Most of these shops are in business for decades and in some cases are being operated by second and third generation family members. It would be a very sad day to witness the demise of these family run businesses, at a time when we should be encouraging people to cherish the old Thurles.

Regarding local employment for this new shopping centre, I would like to believe that locals would be employed, but anyone with any knowledge of such undertakings in Thurles, can contest that statement.

Will our town centre be like the historic market house that once existed on Liberty Square, removed because someone in Thurles planning thought it was an eyesore?

Yes folks history is often repeated but sadly no lessons are learned.”  Letter Ends.

With the recent resignation of the Thurles Marketing Group and the inactivity of other elected representative groups within the town, do you have any thoughts on this matter?  Why not contact us with your views?

Your future livelihood appears to be about to be decided by others, whose ability is far from proven.

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5 comments to Another Shopping Centre Planned for Thurles

  • What Joan said makes a lot of sense.

  • I’m not sure how another shopping centre would even be viable in Thurles. Authorities around the country seem intent on turning town centres into ghost towns with parking charges and exhorbitant rates. How much is collected each year from parking fees? Where does the money go? Have the council factored in the loss of revenue from parking fees lost to free parking in the new centre, not to mention the loss of rates from businesses forced to close? Announcements of job creation from new developments are always welcome, but not at the expense of job losses caused by those developments. Maybe it’s time the local traders called for a parking fee strike of some kind! Is it even lawful to charge for parking or is it just something we blindly accept without even questioning?

  • Derry, The people of this country have been blind for far to long, but for some reason still continue generating revenue to fund the dreams of creeps, snake-oil salesmen and spoofers, who in turn continue to condemn future generations to negative equity.
    Check this site on Monday for proof of this statement.

  • Chris

    Firstly I welcome this development. It will create jobs and bring more competition to the town. And a McDonalds/Burger king drive-tru/restaurant will pull more people into the town.

    Tesco have a site they want to build on in Clongour (decision in April if it is allowed to go ahead) so it wont be them occupying the supermarket/clothing area and it’s a much smaller floor space than Tesco need so wouldn’t be ideal. So it must be Marks and Spencer’s then as no other retail chain sells clothes and food together apart from Tesco/Dunnes which we already have. If it is M&S they aint exactly cheap so i wouldn’t worry about any effect on business. We really need a Penneys too.

    In response to Mrs Carew’s letter. You understand it is very important Thurles attracts as much of the major retailers we can get because if we don’t we will lose business to other towns and with the M8 motorway people have a choice between any town they want and without a selection of the retail chains in Thurles, people will just head to Clonmel.

    In Templemore they introduced parking in 2008. The town then struggled for business so they allowed parking free for the first 20 minutes if people shopped in one the businesses in Main street.

    At the moment in Liberty square the traffic is too heavy for any promotion like this but we do have two reasonably sized car parks, one in Parnell street other in the square which if a deal between traders and Thurles town council, could be fitted quite cheaply with a barrier and ticket type paid parking machine which business in the Parnell and Liberty square could validate for free when you spend €10 euro on food for example, traders could get substantially reduced half hour rate of parking for 20c instead of 50c for example and pass it to the customer, the more shops he/she shops in the longer parking they can get.

    Though remember its Thurles town council i wouldn’t hold my breath they will change their parking fees or support such a promotion.

  • Proinsias

    A belated reply to this thread, particularly to Chris who welcomes this proposed ‘development’.
    With all due respect to you Chris you really have to look at the wider picture here, the social, logistical and environmental implications instead of the convenience issue of parking your car or having more mega multiples to choose from. Why do we need a Penny’s? or a bigger Tesco? Have the residents of Clongour been asked what they think about it?
    Some of the elderly residents of Clongour who built those houses in the early 1960’s when Clongour was technically outside the town of Thurles and beyond was beautiful prime agricultural land. These residents like those of all areas of Thurles contributed to the social development of the town by raising families of tax-payers and voters have, over the last 10-15 years, seen their road reduced to a rat-run for speeding cars trying to beat the traffic jams and tailbacks which have quadrupled significantly since the construction of high-density residential estates on greenfield sites surrounding the area, without any infrastructural development to coincide with or facilitate these new estates. When the shopping centre opened on Slievenamon road, it could be described as the veritable ‘straw that broke the camels back’ but they put up with it in the interest of other citizens of the Town who like yourself seem to be oblivious to the knock on negative effects of mega multiple expansion or poorly planned high density residential estates particularly in that area and indeed accross Ireland in general.
    If another were to open in close proximity to Clongour, Monadreen etc some long standing residents of Thurles would become veritable prisioners in their own homes, unable to back out of their drive way’s or park outside their properties or have children alight from parked vehicles outside their homes because of the speed and complete inconsiderateness of the increasing volume of passing traffic. Recently while at home in Thurles over the Christmas period I witnessed (on Christmas morning) an elderly resident attempting to turn into his own home after attending a Christmas morning service being honked by a brazen youth in a hatchback stuck to the poor mans rear bumper. Other residents have inferred in a very humble and lamentable way that they are afraid to drive their cars in Thurles now because of the speeding and endless traffic in the area. Thurles I believe is one of the most car reliant urban areas in the country and worsening.

    But lets get back to the real issue here, the proposed addition of another shopping multiple. Currently in Galway city there is a similar dilema being played out after news was released before Christmas regarding a Tesco planning application for a two story ‘Mega-market’ on the western side of the city albeit there are a Dunnes stores and an Aldi outlet less than 100 yards from the proposed site, and a Tesco less than a mile away. Adding to this there are over 20 small business’ operating from units situated nearby which have been in operation there for many years.

    But there are other issues surrounding this proposed ‘development’. Gone are the days (I sincerely hope) when locally elected representatives were trusted completely to act in the very best common sense interests of their electorate and locality. Once elected, people resigned themselves to the fact that elected rep. A or B were acting selflessly in the interest of the present AND future welfare of their constituencies. This old myth has long since been exposed across the country as the downturn has forced us to stop and look back at the myriad of mistakes and litany of errors commited through the abuse of this trust in the form of over zealous planning in the extreme, unsuitable and tastless ‘developments’ and the acceptance of corporate lobbying influence.

    A former councillor and retired local business man owns the Galway site and recently the planning or land use specification relating to his site magically changed from its original designation to a ‘District Centre Area zone’ which would allow such a neo-modern urban concrete megalyth to be included in the cities development plan. Last July councillors voted to amend the City Development Plan 2011-2017 and rezone the 9.5 acre site, this was despite the advice of the city manager and the director of services to councillors to vote against the rezoning, as they felt it was not in line with proper planning guidelines. Herein is where the problem lies, who? how? and why? There was little or no consultation phase, only now are residents being consulted after they were forced to quickly organise a residents group for the purpose of gaining a voice in the decision making process and have their concerns addressed.

    The residents played the decision makers at their own game and through their own lobbying network have gained the support and concern of some independant councillors, subsequently Galway City Business Association have added their voice to the opposition and the cities 5 Labour councillors (seeing an opportunity to redeem their long lost anti corporate leftist tradition) have also called for a review. Furthermore the RGDATA a representative body for over 4000 family owned shops and convenience stores in Ireland reviewed the proposal and location and contended that the Tesco would essentially ‘hoover up business within a 20km radius’. Now the issue is before Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan as the issue of the legitimacy of the controverssial rezoning is questionable.

    Apart from that the proposed mega-Tesco cannot be justified with respect to population, would jeopardise existing businesses in the area and the commercial viability of the two existing District Centres. As the site is extensive (similar to the Thurles venture) such a ‘development’ would pose a significant traffic burden on neighbouring residential areas and impact negatively on residential amenity. Major concerns have also been raised about heavy goods delivery vehicles operating through the night, noise pollution, light pollution issues with the proposed flood lighting and general quality of life reduction issues being faced by the ordinary decent people who made their homes this once quiet residential area of Galway city.

    You see Chris it’s not just about having a Tesco, Dunnes, Aldi, Lydil, and Penny’s in every town and city in Ireland with free parking, Its about legitimate decision making for the common good, respect for others, respect for existing business, quality of life and a full stop to our old habbit of applying one dimensional economic thinking to everything. we deserve better. I hope I have given you food for thought and maybe you will have a change of heart.

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