A ruling on the proposed re-zoning of three units at Butlerstown Retail Park is due to be delivered by An Bord Pleanála on November 19th.

On June 3rd, Noel Frisby Construction Ltd objected to the Retail Park’s proprietors’ hopes to rezone three individual warehouse units (currently zoned retail warehouse) into a single unit zoned for the sale of household goods.

In a six-page submission to Waterford County Council, Noel Frisby Construction, owners of the Lisduggan Shopping Centre, said that permitting this change would undermine their planned €40 million redevelopment at Lisduggan.

The proposal at Butlerstown involves a change of use for the three units totalling 2,443 square metres into an amalgamated single household goods vending unit, excluding footwear and clothing.

“I have no objection to the Butlerstown Retail Park as long as the uses are confined to retail warehousing for the sale of bulky goods,” wrote Stephanie Taheny on behalf of Noel Frisby.

“Retail warehouse use at this location does not compete with or threaten the viability of the city centre or existing district centres.”

However, Ms Taheny wrote that permitting this change would “create a precedent for comparison goods shopping in peripheral locations”.

This would also serve to undermine both the Waterford City Development Plan and the decisions of An Bord Pleanála who “have consistently upheld the primacy of the City Centre for the sale of comparison goods, other than bulky household goods”.

She warned that a green-light at Butlerstown “will cause an increase in the number of vacant properties in Waterford City Centre already suffering from the downturn in the economy and the reduction in retail spending”.

In its Planner’s Report dated June 24th, Waterford County Council deemed that “the proposed development is consistent with the overall objective for the Z3 zoning of the site”.

It also states the Planner’s belief that permitting the change “would not have an adverse impact on retailing in the area having regard to the submitted Retail Impact Assessment (RIA) and would be consistent with the Regional Planning Guidelines”.

That RIA states: “The proposed change of use of the development will not have an adverse impact on Waterford City in isolation or when taken in conjunction with any permitted development that may open with the design year (2012).”

The site, located within the environs of the city just off the Butlersrtown Roundabout and Outer Ring Road is located in a ‘Special Zone’ under the 2005-2011 Waterford County Development Plan.