Plans have emerged for a flagship Tesco store at Kilbarry which will create 130 jobs and form a catalyst for further retail/commercial investment in a Neighbourhood Centre in the area.
Waterford City Council this week announced the sale for €9 million of a strategically important site there to Tesco Ireland. The 8.4 acres in question has substantial frontage to both the Kilbarry Road and Ballybeg Link Road and is located just minutes from the N25.
The site is directly opposite 200 acres of land earmarked for major residential development and forms part of a larger holding of 16 acres which was brought to the market by Purcell Properties last October. Following negotiations with Tesco Ireland a deal was agreed for approximately half of the lands and contracts have been exchanged and signed by the respective parties.
The remainder of the 16 acres is to be retained by the City Council for future development.
Auctioneer Des Purcell said the overall scheme was of major significance for the Kilbarry and Ballybeg area as the Neighbourhood Centre, which he likened to the one at Ardkeen, would have six to eight smaller businesses additional to Tesco. They would likely include a pharmacy, video centre, pub and restaurant.
The centre would feed off a new housing development between the Tramore and Kilbarry Roads which would accommodate up to 5,000 people in 1,500 to 2,000 units. “It is all very exciting and will bring services closer to the existing population of Kilbarry and Ballybeg and also to their new neighbours of the future”, he said.
The Ballybeg and Kilbarry area has seen substantial investment in recent years in terms of infrastructural improvements, sports and community facilities, remedial works in the Ballybeg estate and extensive new private housing.
Plans for the Tesco project are currently being prepared and, subject to planning permission, the proposed development will create over 130 local jobs, with special recognition being given to the long-term unemployed.
A City Hall spokesperson said the sale of the site and the proposed development represented a huge investment and vote of confidence in the future of the Ballybeg and Kilbarry area and the realisation of one of the key objectives of the BACK plan adopted by the City Council in 2001 for the development and regeneration of the area. It complimented the major investment made by the Council and the private sector in residential developments in the area.
The City Council is currently laying a major new sewer on the Kilbarry Road and the road itself is due to be improved through to its link with the Outer Ring Road within the next two years.