By Dan Walsh at Enniscorthy Municipal District Council meeting
Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council, Cllr Aidan Browne, told today’s monthly meeting that he was “very disappointed at a missed opportunity” for Enniscorthy after Wexford County Council refused a planning application for an Agri-Tourism Development proposed by Slaney Farms Produce Ltd at Templescoby, approximately six kilometres from the town centre.
The planning authority had cited more than one reason to reject the application, but the reason that surprised Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy was that “it would prejudice the future vitality and viability of Enniscorthy Town Centre” and she pointed out that it was “an Agri-Tourism project and would have nothing to do with the town centre.” Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan voiced her agreement with Cllr Murphy’s summary of one of the reasons quoted in full here;
“The proposed development for an out-of-town destination restaurant, café, visitor centre and distillery in an unserviced rural area as considered, would prejudice the future vitality and viability of Enniscorthy Town Centre and would set a precedent for further such developments in such rural areas. It is considered the proposed development would threaten the future growth and attractiveness of Enniscorthy to attract future such commercial and retail developments into the town centre and is considered contrary to the policies of the County Development Plan 2022-2028, namely Section 7.6.2 and Objective TM19 and TM43 and is therefore contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the rural area.”
Permission had been sought for an Agri-Tourism Development comprising of (a) The erection of 18,940 sq. metres of plastic tunnels for on-site fruit production together with a 223 sq. metre farm machinery shed, two 14.4 sq. metre storage containers, two portable staff toilets, staff parking area, bored well water supply and 45,000 litre water storage tank. (b) The erection of a 940 sq. metre barn type building comprising fruit packhouse, visitors farm shop with cafe/dining area and associated kitchen and toilet facilities, a potato gin micro distillery visitor’s education experience, together with access road, parking area, sewage treatment system and all other ancillary site works.”