Kilkenny, the only one of the Irish Republic’s 26 counties without a Tesco store, is set to remain that way for the foreseeable future following the Planning Appeals Board’s rejection of a proposed 26,000 sq ft outlet.
The decision has angered local councillors, who claim the development would have created about 200 jobs and provided millions of euros in wages for the local economy.
Kilkenny County Council had granted planning permission for the store on the outskirts of the town, with parking spaces for more than 240 cars. However, as a result of two objections to the development, including one from the owner of a SuperValu, the council decision went to the Planning Appeals Board.
It ruled the extra traffic generated by the store would “seriously injure” the area’s amenities and adjoining properties.
County council chairman Tom Maher said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision. Shoppers were being forced to travel to Tesco stores in neighbouring counties “to the detriment of Kilkenny’s economy”, he said.
n A Tesco spokesman said it would be “considering all options”. Tesco opened its 101st store in Ireland this week - an Express outlet in Dublin.