Applegreen, which owns several service stations in Ireland, should not be allowed to abandon a development site in Naas.
The hoped-for July 2019 opening of a new gas station and around 400 jobs never materialized at the former Cemex plant.
The Cemex factory, which once made concrete pipes and which itself closed in late 2007, was the location of the planned Applegreen project next to the “big ball” on the Dublin side of Naas.
Planning permission for the development was granted in 2014 by Kildare County Council.
When this happened, the council said development taxes would amount to €760,000.
The proposal was to construct a 400 square meter footprint development comprising a net retail area of 100 square meters and a catering area of 107 square meters.
41 parking spaces, 15 bicycle spaces and 6 fuel pump stations, including 2 stations for trucks and HGVs, are also approved.
However, the planning application was later withdrawn by the company.
“It looks like an explosive site. We’re so used to it that we barely see it,” Cllr Bill Clear said at a Naas Municipal District meeting.
He said Applereen should not be allowed “to leave him”.
And he cited documents the company has generated and uses to describe itself, which include the words “sustainability is at the heart of what we do.”
He said Naas would not win the Tidy Towns contest as long as the site remained as is.
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“We are held hostage by Applegreen. It is simply wrong. There are homeless people living there. »
However, Applegreen was defended by some advisers.
Naas Mayor Seamie Moore pointed out that the site was in this condition when Applegreen bought it.
And Cllr Fintan Brett criticized Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which expressed reservations about the proposal. And he accused TII of cutting 400 jobs.
He said TII’s role was akin to that of a semi-state body interfering in matters it should not be interested in.
“I don’t blame Applegreen for being very unhappy with what happened.”
It is understood the company was upset with how the draft was received despite not responding to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Kildare County Council has embarked on a traffic survey in the immediate area as part of the preparation of a master plan, which recognizes the location as a ‘key gateway site’.
A traffic modeling and site access strategy is to be developed within a year of the adoption of the local development plan, which happened two months ago.