The proposed redevelopment of Waterford Shopping Centre, Lisduggan, has met with a further delay, following An Bord Pleanala’s refusal to allow alterations to previously approved permission, namely to facilitate access onto Church Road.

The phased reconstruction plans to treble the size of the existing 8,500sq-m complex and develop a ‘district’-type shopping centre incorporating the adjacent Bank of Ireland branch have been marred by difficulties since Noel Frisby Construction Limited was originally granted planning permission for the revamp by Waterford City Council in 2005. This application included the demolition of the present centre and Bank of Ireland and construction of a new 32-unit facility, housing a relocated BOI branch, Heatons, the new library, TSB, two retail warehouses and three restaurants.

Three appeals were subsequently lodged with An Bord Pleanala, including those of local residents and the Green Party’s Brendan McCann, who sought a scaled-down design. However the Council’s decision was upheld in late 2006, albeit with revised conditions mostly relating to traffic circulation.

Late last year the developers applied to make alterations to the previously approved permission, essentially to the service yard entrance relating to Tesco on Church Road, to include for access and egress to the lower ground level car-park and the relocation of unloading area/home shopping area. Following approval by the City Council, an appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanala by residents of 93, 94, 99-101 Central Ave, and 3,5 Maple Tce.

Permission for the changes was refused by An Bord Pleanala last week on the basis that the proposal would divert significant amounts of traffic onto Church Road. The planning authority also blocked an application to relocate a staff area and change of use of a staff area and storage area to retail since the proposed development, classified as a superstore under the provisions of the Retail Planning Guidelines, is already at the limit of the floor space cap recommended in these Guidelines.