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Thurles Say No To Proposed New Supermarket

A larger than expected gathering, representative of all aspects of Thurles community life, turned out to the meeting, called by Thurles Chamber for this evening in Hayes Hotel.

Thurles Chamber, had called the meeting with a view to deciding what direction their submission should take, with reference to Tipperary’s Planning Section decision on the development of a further proposed shopping centre at the old Erin Foods site at Slievenamon Road, Thurles.

Thurles Chamber Meeting

Very quickly it became evident, from the mood of those gathered, that such a proposed venture was not welcome in the town in the foreseeable future.

Speakers from the floor, referred mainly to advice, commissioned and contained, in the Thurles and Environs Development Plan 2009-2015, regarding future Commercial and Retail Development.

While it was pointed out that the location of new retail or indeed other proposed development, is crucial to the long-term vitality of Thurles, proposals for any new retail development, that is located outside the central town area, must be assessed against the following criteria:-

(a) Does it undermine or have an adverse impact on the quality of the town centre?
(b) Does it diminish the future range of shops in the town centre?
(c) Does it link effectively with the commercial life currently existing in Thurles town centre?

It was unanimously agreed that any such decision must also take into account all potential social costs and benefits, not only the most obvious ones, which are easily measured in economic terms, but also be careful not to impose disproportional costs elsewhere, when pursuing a single objective of this magnitude. The cannibalization of existing jobs from within the town centre, was considered to be a cause for major concern in this instance.

As stated, the location of new retail development is crucial to the long term vitality, life and viability of Thurles Town and the preferred location for new retail development, where practicable and viable, should always be in the town centre.

The meeting called on the Tipperary Planning Authority, in future, to only permit development in the outer areas of Thurles, that would enhance rather than detract from the town centre, as indeed recommended in the Thurles Environmental Development Plan for 2009-2015.

Speakers strongly voiced the opinion that town centre development should be the future policy of those involved with local planning, to strengthen the town centre function of Thurles as a viable commercial, cultural and living centre, in accordance with the County Retail Strategy 2003 and the Retail Planning guidelines for Planning Authorities and the Town Centre Strategy.

A submission to this effect will now be forwarded to the Planning Authority, by Thurles Chamber in the next few days, strongly conveying the wishes of those assembled, at this evenings meeting.

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30 comments to Thurles Say No To Proposed New Supermarket

  • Chris

    That pretty much shows the greed of small businesses in the town. They go on about on employing local people yet most there employees cant speak a word of English and without the major chains likes Dunnes/Tesco etc these people and their high prices would bleed the town dry. They need to reform the planning laws in this country so people who fear competition cant object to any developments like this unless it has environmental issues. This is why the town loses so much business to Clonmel.

  • Thurles Resident

    Its not greed it’s good planning, and would be advised to bring a sustainable business into that space such as the previous occupants, not another supermarket. Your comment about competition; Costcutters Johnstons, Costcutters Friar St, Tesco, Lidl, and Aldi. We had a Supervalue which was in the previous creamery location. Build a shopping centre and they will come “attitude” does not work. We can all take a trip to Rathdowney to see this. People don’t travel to Clonmel to go to Tesco and won’t as far as I can see in the near future.

    Thurles and Environs meeting was chaired to ask the following questions
    (a) Does it undermine or have an adverse impact on the quality of the town centre? Yes a detrimental one.
    (b) Does it diminish the future range of shops in the town centre? Yes, shops are struggling in the town centre, Not be greedy.
    (c) Does it link effectively with the commercial life currently existing in Thurles town centre? Yes again

    Thurles and its environs don’t want this. Specific people do and its not good to open competition to existing stores that can’t hold their own as it is. Specifically in a few years I would welcome additional companies for a range of products and services. If you were aware of the reality of economics its a fact that for every job you create as an employer the knock on effect is someone produces 2 somewhere else. So in reality creating 50 Jobs in tesco number 2 would decimate 100+ jobs in Johnstons, Costcutters Friar st, Pat the baker. The wholesaler that supplies them – etc. The world doesn’t work that way, their is no new revenue into an existing commuter town which Thurles has become, because clonmel and others have sustainable export businesses. They product medical products to the tune of $1 billion each year, obviously having workers that spend wages and bonus’s in Clonmel shops and close proximity has a knock-on effect. Thurles has nothing of this nature and is slowly dying as the larger employer’s in the region are drying up.

  • Cris, while I enjoy your regular comments to this website, and indeed share many similar views, you and I must agree to differ regarding a new Supermarket for Thurles. The planning process has a very important role to ensure sustainable development. The location of any new retail development is crucial to the future long-term vitality of this town.
    Businesses starting up in the town centre begin trading immediately at a major disadvantage to the Big 3 trading on the perimeter of Thurles. I refer in particular to prospective customers on a wet day who park to shop – have to find a parking ticket vending machine – walk back to their vehicle to display. The Big 3, as you are aware, offer free parking.
    There are two degrees of greed when shopping, namely Retail Greed and Consumer Greed and both work to encourage competition.
    Regarding local employment how many large Supermarket chains in Thurles sell Thurles Milk? How many, when requested, support local fundraising? All large Supermarket chains trade under the banner “Much Wants More,” and presently decide where we shop, what we eat, the size of our apples, and who will grow our produce and at what price, to accommodate their expected profit margin. Consumer greed ensures that they are successful in this control of the market place and only small amounts from the profits of these large retail outlets are ever spent in local economies.
    Attractive town centres go hand in hand with a strong tourism base, however, the potential of the tourism industry in Thurles Town and environs is totally undeveloped. Much of this problem rests on the shoulders of local elected paid representatives, who choose to play politics and are more interested in self promotion than in pursuing the objectives for which they are elected.
    There is poor understanding of our towns’ inherent history, inadequate protection of our historic environment. There are environment problems such as traffic congestion, light pollution, waste etc and a lack of the development of commercial activities associated with the heritage industry. Where are the Stone Doorway and the Bell from the Thurles Workhouse, which was recently demolished, for example?
    The location of new retail development is crucial to the long-term vitality of any town and particularly to Thurles, which thanks to the poor quality of our “Political Stock” is devoid of any real industry. However same new retail development must, where practicable and viable, be in our town centre, which is presently day by day decaying in character and appearance, to the detriment of all those who choose to reside here.

  • Chris

    It sounded unfair the way i came across saying most the businesses are greedy. I think i should clear it up exactly what i meant. Alot of people are honest local shop owners concerned about losing customers in the Square. But the people who i meant were greedy are a very small number of people 4 to be exact. These 4 certain people who are using dirty tricks to stop any chances of fair competition who were at that meeting and never mind had no connection whatsoever to Liberty square. I cant say the individuals names but if look at the planning applications for Tesco (the 2008 withdrawn application), Thurles shopping centre, Aldi and Lidl you will solve it. The same names putting in submissions on all them. This practice should be stopped as its uncompetitive and it puts a bad name on the genuinely hard working and concerned shop owners we have in the square.

    I can understand businesses in the square are concerned about losing customers to Slievenamon road areas and i personally would like any new developments to have a place in Liberty Square. But at the moment a business especially on a large scale like Mr Quirke is planning would find it extremely difficult to set itself up in the Square and attract a number of customers because the layout and lack of parking. And unless the parking (which is the biggest problem facing the future of Liberty Square) and space issue is dealt with we will see alot more (small local businesses even), setting up in retail centres like Thurles S.C anyway.

    It is though just as important to have the likes of Tesco, Dunne Stores and any the other big retail chains in the town as much as having local small businesses to avoid losing more business to places like Clonmel and Tipperary town which with the M8 motorway are accessible in literally just minutes and without these flagship stores on the outskirts of the town to attract people to come shopping in Thurles, potential visitors to Thurles from Urlingford, Cashel etc will just continue to head down South not only because they have a much greater selections of stores to shop in South Tipperary but also to avoid the traffic jams.
    These jams go the whole way from the N62 Clongour up into Liberty Square and this all meets the traffic from the r498 Nenagh road and R660,R503 roads and the reckless parking layout, it is a major put off to attracting business and Thurles town council are doing NOTHING to ease the congestion.

    Realisticly people don’t do their weekly shopping in the small local Centra stores or Topaz etc because its not economically viable as small stores don’t have the buying power of the bigger retailers like Dunne stores to give shoppers in Thurles the cheapest price possible.

    Example of myself the average shopper. I spend alot of money in Dunne Stores every week buying groceries but on my shopping trips i also get the chance to go to McKevitts for his specials offers (especially for they’re cooked food, them sausages are the nicest in the whole town) and i often stop off at Centra on the way up there for a hot chocolate or tea and i visit alot of other stores in Liberty Square.

    Without the big players in Thurles to attract me to enter the town for my shopping i would have to go shop in lets say Nenagh and wouldn’t have the opportunity to visit McKevitts or any other small stores. Big stores like Dunnes do work as magnets and pull alot shoppers in to the town a large number of people travel from Borrisoleigh Templemore and other small towns to Thurles because of the shopping centre.

    Tesco are desperate to get planning permission to build on a site in Clongour which would be a 24hour supermarket. I fully support their plans, not only because a 24hour supermarket would really benefit the town as less people will have to travel to Clonmel after 6pm on a Sunday (which i have to do alot), Tesco relocating would leave the old site free in Liberty Square which could be potentially purchased by the council and redeveloped as a multi-story car park (or a new street even) and this would be more a benefit to the Square taking the majority of parking and improving the flow of traffic and environment for pedestrians.

    The biggest problem facing the town is the parking in the square and people shouldn’t stand for it that the majority of the money from parking is invested into other parts of the council than easing the traffic flow. I would like see the council willing to negotiate with businesses on the parking charges for example the two big car parks in Parnell street and the other in the Square beside Ulster bank 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 €10-15 euro on food for example, traders could get substantially reduced half hour rates of parking for 15-30c instead of 50c for example and pass it to the customer, the more shops he/she shops in Liberty square the longer time of parking they can get. Yeah the council might make a small loss for a period but they can afford.

  • Joan

    I have read all comments on this site regarding the proposed Shopping Centre at the Erin Foods site in Thurles. I have noted that most comments regard only Liberty Square as the town centre and the hub of shopping in Thurles. I contest that notion. We have equally good shops off the square, in West Gate, Friar Street, Croke Street and Parnell Street. All rate paying establishments who employ local people.
    Small family run businesses that employ local people having been carrying the can of high rates for years in this town. Our businesses have been seriously compromised by the introduction of pay parking on all streets and car parks in Thurles town centre.
    When parking fees was introduced we were told that the revenue earned was to be used for traffic management. On Monday night during debate at The Chamber of Commerce meeting we were told by John Kennedy that the money earned was utilized for footpaths, road surfaces and refurbishment of council houses. I asked for clarification on this as I am sure it is in the minutes of the Chamber of Commerce that this revenue was only to be used for traffic management.
    Traders need to unite in all areas of Thurles and seriously lobby the Town Council for free parking on our streets, to enable us to continue trading and to offer shoppers a far choice.
    Once you have seen one Dunne’s, Tesco or other multinational store you really have seen them all. If these huge stores take over our town then the discerning shopper who rely on smaller exclusive goods will spend their money in Paris or NewYork.
    The Town Council will be bereft of all revenue when we have boarded up shops in our town. The social fabric of Thurles should concern everyone living and working here in Thurles.

  • Chris

    I am 100% behind these parking charges been abolished or at least being halved for shoppers.

    I also think under a unified Tipperary council the housing responsibilities should be on the county council (or even better a Quango with its own contractors for repairs etc like they have in parts of the UK) and not the town council.
    This ensuring any income from parking Thurles town council raises will be used to ease traffic flow and improve the environment for shoppers in the Square.
    I also believe Tesco moving from Liberty square to Clongour is extremely important for the square as that site providing a huge section of land will be the perfect size for removing majority of the parked cars from the centre of the square. The North Tipperary council points out the importance this site could be too and i think the town council should be encouraged by the businesses in the square to purchase this site extending liberty square in a way and providing potential for development near the rear of Bank of Ireland. Like the retail street/car park design behind McDonald’s in Gladstone street Clonmel which is accessed through a pedestrian only street full of small local businesses.

  • brianc

    Personally, I think it’s crazy to open another shopping centre, especially when there are already so many premises in Thurles closed and boarded-up at the moment. A while ago, I counted 17 closed down business premises on Friar St. alone! Perhaps if rent prices were lowered to more realistic levels or incentivised in some way…

    Anyway, I don’t think Thurles has the infra-structure to deal with another shopping centre. With the bypass cancelled and little to nothing spent on our roads, there’s no way we could deal with the extra traffic. The traffic in Thurles is already bad enough, do we really want more???

  • Michael

    There are many shops in the town centre and if they had space they would give free parking and their business would improve. I’d visit downtown Thurles way more often but for the parking, and having to go to a shop to get change for a parking meter. When you go to a parking meter and find it’s not working, and you are under pressure for time, you think of the free parking away from the town centre.

  • Chris

    We need most of the town council staff to be removed from office for failing the town. I was walking down Croke street and there was a big jam in both Friar street up to the square and Croke street going the whole way from Sherry Fitzgerald’s to the Tipperary Youth centre thing. Everybody had to turn around in Croke gardens. We crucially need that bypass for the future of the town and anybody in that Council who are actually passionate about the town would be spamming Leo Varadkar’s inbox with photos and angry letters. The councillors the staff the clerk they don’t give a —– (feel free to add whatever word here, I can think of many good discriptions) and at the next local election punish them at the polling stations.

  • James T Kearney

    The link and any other type links, the new road? Well recently NAMA approved of a €10M grant for a new road layout, for the Dublin district again, what is this telling us? It’s the boys club again raising its ugly head once more. The IDA should be disbanded and look at a new approach to getting industry to the town. There is too much lip service always here in Ireland for decent people.

  • Joan

    It is not just the present economic climate that has put Thurles and any bypass road on the never never list, it is politics. But why should the trader’s residents and anyone with an interest in Thurles just pay lip service to our forgotten town. Let us see if that meeting (of Traders Unite scheduled for Wednesday 19th October in Hayes Hotel at 8pm) will show the strength of our traders. Let us set a template for all community activists in Thurles and far beyond

  • Extremely Disheartened Resident

    I would like to express my anger at this decision to say No to the Supermarket.
    Born and raised in Thurles I went to Dublin for college and employment and for the last 10 years I have lived there until recently returning home to build a life for myself and what am I faced with? A run down town with nothing but kids in hoodies selling drugs and driving sooped up cars, no employment prospects, more people than I can count on the dole in the area and not one person my age (late 20’s-early 30’s) with any pride in this town. It is my generation that should be encouraged to come home out of the cities for gainful employment and to pump money back into this town so that the traders CAN thrive with a knock on effect.
    I can’t understand how employment has been cast aside for the sake of few. Hundreds of people are unemployed in this town and in the surronding villages and when word of firstly the casino came to light and then this shopping centre, something a Thurles man himself seeing how for decades this town has been bypassed wanted to give back, was in the pipeline we all sat up and took notice. I met very few people again my age who were against both. Why do we begrudge our own, what gives us the right to turn our back on investment all for a few who have this town sewn up and who have done so for years. It’s a constant power struggle with traders and as mentioned before 4 in particular. You don’t need to see plans, word of mouth is a very strong thing and “old money” is a curse.
    A vast majority of my friends want nothing to do with Thurles, a town that as teenagers all we had was sitting in Supermacs or down by the river long before the Source. That was what we decided to leave and no-one wants to come back. I did as I’m proud to be from here but so very disappointed in how we’ve let this go.
    I feel saddened that the bigger picture of employment wasn’t seen. I know If I went into a shop in the Square and asked for a job I wouldn’t get one. Thurles Shopping Centre whilst was absolutely fantastic to get when it was opened hasn’t done much to bring in shops of note since.
    This town is crumbling around us and we can’t see the woods for the trees. Surely people could’ve worked in partnership with this so no-one would be put out.

  • Thurles Resident

    I think it is you who can’t see the wood from the trees “Extremely Disheartened Resident.”
    Gambling in this country is massive but all you need to do is go to Austrailia to see how far and how detrimental this can be to the lives affected in this, do u think we can simply build a casino and all out worries will go away. From a socio-economic point of view its great to see someone employed and working but disheartening to see kids starving when there single parent family is struggling with a substance and/or gambling addiction. Go look up the statistics if your truly concerned they are on a rise every year. Your idea of building an object of employment is fantastic for the buliding trade but in the long term it doesn’t sustain, it only rots the core of this town that we call an apple or at least has the potential to.
    Again I harp along the lines of building another shopping centre ?? Did you read the posts above, we can’t fill the one we have. Its as simple as that. In an economy as fragile as the Thurles one, its bringing nothing new to the table with little revenue, its only sucking the revenue from the coffers of the town, its NOT bringing in tourism whether u like it or not. Seriously how many chemists or hairdressers do we need in this town. Again for every job your create you create another 2 further down the line and the same goes for losing jobs. Yes the liberty square few that gripe on bringing trade away from liberty square I agree, are feeding their own greed but overall it was a fantastic decision again by Bord P.
    Its the same as building houses all over again, with little money coming in from outside sources it will dry up pretty quick. Kids in hoodies and souped up cars u say ??
    Are u specifically looking at this with clouded vision or blinkers?
    This town has plenty to offer with every sports club imaginable with some life in it, i think your looking from afar with city eyes thinking that this should in some way compete with the big smoke with entertainment for the masses. If i had a euro for every person that says build a bowling alley, build a subway, macdonalds.. If you went to smurfit or any of the other good business schools you would realise that a town with a pop “according” to the last census of a little over 8000 people cant sustain these sorts of business’s. Go to clonmel and ask how is business, and you,ll be gobsmacked.
    Newsflash = were in a recession. Things dont magicially happen in thurles even in the good times nevermind the bad ones.
    Try getting a sustainable export business of ANY nature and i,ll support you 100%. Until then im going to be throwing frowny faces your direction every post.

  • Chris

    Thurles shopping centre does make alot of money. Take our Boots/xtravision stores as a example, they are just as busy as the ones in Limerick/Waterford and have much longer opening times because they get a huge number of customers. Dunne stores never actually closes on time as they have loads of people still shopping there after 10pm on a Friday. Euro2 is impossible to get into most days, the aisle are crowded with people. Born clothing a company expanding throughout the country choose Thurles shopping centre for their fifth store (2x Galway 1 Athlone 1 Dublin) over places in Limerick, Cork and Waterford because the centre draws in alot of customers off the N62. All units in the shopping centre were snapped up and all are trading very well. And as for Clonmel it is attracting new stores all the time, Iceland is setting up its first store outside Dublin City there, Argos opened a “Extra” (stores which carry extra stock and goods) which is almost always out of stock due to high sales. Tesco-extra are open 24/7 365. I was in that Tesco at 4am on a Sunday and it had people going in and out. Although some traders are genuinely concerned about losing business they are being scared by these four people who own supermarkets and rent out shops in the square. Also a member of Thurles Chamber of commerce (one of the people against baycross developments plans) sold the Abbey road site to Lidl GMBH a few years ago and made a substantial profit i remember.

    By rejecting applications for planning permission just because they are outside of the town centre (that realistically has no space for projects this size) or businesses who don’t like the idea of competition the council basically becomes a public body intervening in the retail market. Now the taxpayer (who overpays for these clowns) is giving an unfair advantage to traders in Liberty Square/Friar street etc and stops the town growing and having a competitive open retail market. Unless there is a environmental or safety impact i don’t see why this project should not go ahead.

  • How many of you people have read the adopted Thurles Development plan 2009 to 2015 and in particular CHAPTER 5: ECONOMY AND THE TOWN CENTRE. Now with the weekend coming and the lack of finance and unemployment in the area you all might find time to read it. Underline “Strongly foster and protect the viability of the core shopping areas of the town, as delineated and to protect its sustainability and its attractiveness as “Thurles, the Market Town.”
    Through its zoning objectives, the Planning Authorities will only allow development in the outer zones that will enhance rather than detract from the town centre. It will have particular regard for the Retail Planning Guidelines.
    Thurles needs another Supermarket like we need a hole in the head, and I understand that shelf packers in Dunnes Stores have had their contracts terminated with effect from 30th November 2011. Welcome to the real world of the big 5 chain and promised long term sustainable employment.

  • Chris

    I don’t think building another supermarket will detract from the town centre, Most shops on Liberty Square/Friar Street have a charm and uniqueness about them you won’t get in the shopping centres. Of course any business this size would love to set itself up there if it wasn’t for the lack of space/parking they would but until the bypass or more parking becomes available they will be forced to move outside the centre of the town. The biggest problem the square faces which is probably all ready driving away business is the lack of parking and heavy traffic. Without old horse and carts and plants etc in the square it just looks like one dirty car park, reducing traffic and removing parking is essential to improve the image of the square and make it pedestrian friendly. Also that Development plan was wrote by people mostly based in the civic offices Nenagh before the economy crashed, unlike other towns the rate of new businesses opening in the town is amazing and lets hope it continues. Even Liberty Square has more businesses opening up.

    What i don’t get is why when two members of the chamber of commerce sold the Lidl and Aldi sites between 2000-2003 it was never a issue until late 2005 when a application for a shopping centre out the Dublin road was submitted. The 2007/2009/2010 Tesco applications and now this development. Its the same four people too and they aint only objecting to the multinationals either. One guy out the Holycross road is objecting to small stores setting up around the town. There is uncompetitive dirty tricks going on with a few individuals. What the square really needs to focus on is 1.Parking 2.Traffic 3.Environment.

  • Thurles Resident

    Chris it is and has an environmental impact. Im assuming ure talking about thurles shopping centre and its shops and not clonmel ??
    Are u for real ?? Your villifying these 4 people whoever they are. Quite frankly i dont really care who sold what land to whom back in 2001/2002.. It was 10 Years ago get over it. Thurles shopping centre was virtually empty for months and months.. what planet are u on thinking another shopping centre can bring long term sustainable jobs to this town. If u create 10 Jobs there your not taking people off of the live register, your condeming people in Liberty Square to getting a p45 for christmas.
    Again YES .. fun times while it builds
    Again YES .. poor times when Mckevitts lays off 40 staff because of increased competition and they have no competitive advantage its as plain and simple. Your not taking my word for it but its an economical fact.

    The facts are simple
    (a) Does it undermine or have an adverse impact on the quality of the town centre? Yes a detrimental one.
    (b) Does it diminish the future range of shops in the town centre? Yes, shops are struggling in the town centre, Not be greedy.
    (c) Does it link effectively with the commercial life currently existing in Thurles town centre? Yes again

    Have u been up friar street lately ??? WOW is all i will say.. things up that end are booming. Do some market research on how many business’s are closed up and boarded up in the close vicinity (2 mins walking distance) of liberty square.. Ure looking at this with rose coloured specs in some cases. Some are boarded up for Years.
    I personally think u would rather see these big four out of business than objectively look at the bigger picture. ” Unless there is a environmental or safety impact i don’t see why this project should not go ahead.” I quote your own words.. this is the environmental impact… job loss plain and simple. Just because u see 20 layed off in Liberty square doesnt automatically assume that those 20 will be first hired in the new supermarket. In a perfect world yes. In our world no. I can hear the racists people screaming ohh the foreigners took my job.. Probably the fact they work just as hard and in some cases are more experienced that whats on offer. Again poor Racist sentiment towards our eu brothers. ??

    There are units lying idle in thurles business park, and the old industrial estate ?? I dont hear ANY objections to someone setting up something long term there.. Just not another bloody hairdressers

  • Thurles Resident, Thank you for your last comment, I was beginning to think that I was alone in my logic and thinking. Hopefully the planning authority will see this planning application in a similar light.

  • Em

    This Centre should go ahead…… How do you think this will affect the town socially…..more jobs, clean up that ASBO ridden walk by the river..
    There are no shops in Thurles, very limited regarding choice, anything in the square is unique and the SC will not detract from this…..
    What the square needs is free parking
    How do people feel this new shopping centre will benefit the town?

  • Thurles Resident

    Em you obviously haven’t read a single objection to any of the above comments.. The explanations are clear and plain for all to see !
    The people in this town do NOT want a new shopping centre – Can’t bloody afford the ones we have.
    If it does get the go ahead it will turn into another Rathdowney Shopping Centre – Sparse and barren !!

  • Em

    So the town will just stand still in time….No new developments can get past the Council if its going to be inundated continuously with objections.Thurles will become more and more run down and its residents will be to blame!!!!
    Job Creation….in Aug 2010 3201 ppl signed on…and there are probably plenty more by now!!!!!

  • Thurles Resident

    Newsflash.. the reason we are in this predicament is because of developments. Its residents (me) don’t want this for the again obvious points which you fail to read !

    1. Build and development and close which store.. Costcutter Liberty Square or Friar Street or perhaps Tesco ?? I’ll let you pick which one..
    2. Does it have an adverse impact on the town centre.. (read Q1)
    3. Does it diminish the future range of shops in the town centre (Clearly read Q1)
    4. Does it link effectively with the commercial life currently existing in the town centre (read Q1) It is a DIRECT competitor.

    If in any way shape or form you offer to build a production, export led driven project of ANY sort I would be more than happy to give you the thumbs up.. This idea of Choice people talking about.. who is going to pay for all this. The idea of build it and they will come does not work.

    Thurles is a market town – A small rural community of 8.4k people.. not a metropolitian community that you would like it to be. Hypothetically lets say Thurles has an annual income of €10 million euros..

    Between 100 business that is €100,000 per annum per business .. Build another 50 in a shopping centre that does not have the same knock on effect of 100 local businesses. The money is taken out of a closed economy and put in a Bank in Dublin to pay off debts of the shopping centre.
    150 Business now have €75,000 each to dilute amongst themselves which is clearly going to be unsustainable for some. Also to add the knock on effect is going to be a lot, lot less because of funds leaving.

    Can you not see my logic.. moving jobs from one centre to another is doing nothing for this community.. ??

  • Em

    I see why you dont want it…..traffic, pollution, noise, take bst from the centre etc etc…..
    Almost every objection to the TC was a photocopied version of the first one, few people added their own opinions to it.

    That 8.4k is much larger when you count in the environs according to the 2011 provisional census Thurles town has 6910 and thurles rural area has 15,225……I wouldnt exactly call Thurles a small rural area……the population has increased by 4.7% since 06.

    I know its a matter of opinion but Thurles needs a bit of variety…most of the town leave Thurles to go to Kilkenny or Clonmel to shop why cant Thurles offer this …it could attract people in, which will have a knock on effect, it will improve a disused building in a prime location, it will create jobs, and give Thurles a bit of variety and excitement

    Mr Quirke is doing some good for the town and if we reject another one of his proposals he is not going to try to invest again, he will develop elsewhere creating employment and economic development there, rather than in Thurles.

    It really is a matter of opinion but an investment like this into the town could offer great benefits…..

    We need to move with the times ….retail is where its at!!!!

  • Thurles Resident

    Retail “was” where it was at .. Now it’s no longer the case.
    I can 100% agree variety is the key to small towns. People can become consumed and small minded but I dont think another shopping centre is the way to go about it. There are Multiple sites around Liberty Square, Friar Street and other streets with excess of 1500sq feet to accomodate most new shops. I dont see any reasonable pros to not going into one of these buildings.

    The Two Mile Borris ‘Vegas,’ opportunity in our midst, I was 100000% against this.. I was gazumpted by €50,000 euros a few years ago to purchase a house and when this sham comes to town, I won’t see the smell of a front door of a house. We have more serious issues with gambling in this country, but that topic is for another day.

    Manchester in the Uk did a similar Feasiblity Study on a “world” event casino and it was found that it was unstainable. I have heard and read figures that would need to be maintained every week to keep the doors open and it would make the baby Jesus weep.

    George did a Fantastic post on how Thurles is in the doldrums regarding tourism and I don’t see how a multi million dollar casino 50 feet out the road is going to magicaly turn it into disneyworld.. If the pitch from the brochure reads only 30-40 mins from Shannon and 1hr from Cork .. why begod do u think millionaires will stop in Thurles for a coffee ?? Fancifull thinking from Dr Quirky I think.

    The ideas that we will have massive job influx to the area which leads to be seen, I haven’t ever met a person yet that is a trained croupier(blackjack dealer). The roles are highly skilled and highly specific for this half a billion investment, its again fanciful that this is some golden hen that lays eggs for all involved.

    Publicans are all for it .. ?? Well I for 1 will be flying out to have a look at what all the bells and whistles are, and hopefully I don’t get comfortable because you’ll see more pubs in the town close.

    We can split hairs on our opinions on how small Thurles is but I know for a fact its getting smaller and peoples incomes are diminshing. I have said goodbye to maybe 40-50 people in the last 3 yrs with emigration. The amount of rental ex business’s to let is testament to that.

  • EM, sorry but I have to side with Thurles Resident on their stance on this subject. Let me try to explain my reasons.
    Thurles and it’s environs has a population of just over 12,000 when everyone is at home. The majority of disposible income of this population is spent presently within the town already. A great deal of this disposable income ends up in the hands of the bigger supermarkets, and therefore except for some local purchases, wages & salaries, profits are removed out of circulation within the Thurles area.

    Another example in theory is The Source Theatre. It is rented out to other non Thurles Theatre Companies and non Thurles Musical Acts, lets say for €1000 per night. The Act or Group plays to a full house at €20 per ticket. €20 x 250 = €5,000 minus €1000 rental fee = €4,000 profit. This money is then removed from the local community, never to be circulated and of no benefit to other Thurles business. The way The Source is run presently, fact is, it is difficult for local groups to gain access for exhibitions, stage acts etc, despite their mission statement declaring “An Open Door Policy.” Yet if this establishment makes a loss in any one year, local businesses are expected to meet the shortfall through their taxes paid to Thurles Council. So in Theory we are employing people & through taxes subsidising the removal of money from our business community.
    Locally based residential businesses create jobs locally, support charity events and circulates profits amongst local communities.

    Certainly the world has changed rapidly, as Thurles Resident correctly points out and Thurles must change with it. Our problem is that current business in Thurles are going through a period of refusing to accept change. Over 68% of people now make purchase decisions on the Internet, yet most businesses have no access to same. Many believe that Facebook is the answer to advertising their product, and to a very small degree it does.
    Using the Internet correctly, however attracts a much, much, much bigger audience and is not limited to people you just know locally.
    Due to the lack of good business leadership and poor marketing skills, Thurles will continue to decline and the big 5 will get fatter.

    Let me give you just one example. This website Thurles.Info had 33,833 persons reading its content, during the month of February. The Web Marketing Tool for Thurles, owned by North Tipperary County Council and paid for by you the Tax payer, namely Thurles.ie had during the same period only 4,825 visitors. On Tuesday February 21st 2012,(On just one day only) 5,912 people read something on Thurles.Info. In otherwords on one day only in Feb 2012 more people visited the Thurles.Info site than visited Thurles.ie for the whole month of February.
    Over 1000 people will read the debate we 3 concerned citizens are currently having by 12.00 midnight tonight and it has not cost the tax payer one red cent. This is marketing and introducing real possible customers/visitors to Thurles.
    Now ask yourselves, have you, as both regular readers, ever observed a local business using us to push “their wares.”? Have they even inserted their business addresses into our Site Directory? Very few my friends, very few.

    Thurles people may not like what I write, but as Del Boy says – “You both know it makes sense.

  • Michael

    Del Boy is usually right.

  • Chris

    It was granted conditional planning permission yesterday.

  • Chris

    19 conditions added to the permission. Tesco site managed by DPP withdrew its application for planning permission in Clongower last February so I imagine a deal was struck with Mr Quirke to anchor this development. If this is the case now is the time for residents to put pressure on the council to buy the Liberty square site. Thurles TC even the North Tipperary council has the power to put forward a motion to prevent planning permission ever being granted for development of the site in Liberty SQ thus making it very difficult for Tesco to sell off the site for other developments and purchase it with the compulsory purchase order and turn it into a much needed carpark. As dirty and scheming an idea like this sounds that is the worst place to have a supermarket in the town. McKevitts is ok it doesn’t cause much chaos with people pulling in and out but Tesco does everyday at the back in Emmett street too, plus the square doesn’t need something tacky like EURO50 or Crunch opening up in those premises

  • Pat

    Those controlling what businesses come to the town are doing the area and residents a disservice in my view. For example, my wife and I (and no doubt many others) will be doing almost all of our Christmas shopping in either Clonmel or Limerick; in fact, we have already bought the bulk of our kids presents on a recent trip to Limerick, saving a fortune in the process – this even when taking the cost of fuel into account.

  • Proinsias

    EM mentioned above that; ‘Almost every objection to the TC was a photocopied version of the first one‘ and that ‘few people added their own opinions to it.’
    I can see how if this were the case, people might suspect that it was a case of objecting to everything but it is also worth considering that the Planning process is fairly complicated and in a way has it’s own language. Largely if someone wishes to submit a suggestion or even an objection to a planning application it will only be taken seriously by planners if it clearly sets out those suggestions and reasons valid to both the criteria associated with planning guidelines and local development plans, and is presented in the language of planning. Now herein lies the problem and probably the reason why many submissions were, or seemed to be, the same.

    Ordinary people are more often than not excluded in a way because of these semantics and technical criteria associated with Irish planning law and procedure. Therefore it stands to reason that in order to be heard or to be a part of the process, and unless you have an MA in Planning, you are bound to rely on a professional submission compiled by someone else which contains similar suggestions/objections as your own feelings on the subject.

    As for your reference to ‘that ASBO ridden walk by the river‘, which you like to see ‘cleaned up‘, with what concrete? The riverside walk is a superb potential amenity within the town and should be ‘enhanced‘ not ‘developed‘. If it were opened up properly out as far as Lady’s Well with cycle and walk path designations, a person could jog/walk or cycle from the swinging gate at either Slievenamon Rd or Emmet St/The Mall, out as far as Lady’s Well and back in by the Mill Road. This could be widened with an intensive native species planting on both sides of the river encouraging primary and secondary school children out of the classroom and onto a designated nature trail. A small foot-bridge could be constructed at the end of the Slievenamon Rd swinging gate path across onto the opposite bank allowing pedestrians/cyclists access back up to Cathederal St via the pool and library.

    But it is neglected and unfortunately, many are afraid to venture down there even in daylight. I walked it recently and was very disappointed to see that the Shopping Centre was allowed to leave no space for a tree barrier between it and the river. It seems that a decking smoking area with a river view is more important than the wildlife and habitat of that area. According to the development plan for the former Erin Foods site, the riverside walk would be intensively reconfigured which I believe will destroy it’s potential for tourism, recreation, amenity, and education in sustainability and co-existence forever.

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