5.4.2 Retailing in Local Area Plans

closeddate_range22 Dec, 2020, 9:00am - 12 Mar, 2021, 5:00pm
​​​​​​5.4.2 Retailing in Local Area Plans 

The Local Area Plans for Callan, Castlecomer, Graiguenamanagh and Thomastown support and guide retail development in those District Towns.

The Callan Local Area Plan (2019) identifies Callan as having experienced an improvement in convenience retailing since 2007, but a decline in comparison floorspace in the same period.  Callan reportedly had 522 sqm of vacant retail floorspace, down from 569 sqm in 2007 but up from 440 sqm in 2010.

The Castlecomer Local Area Plan (2018) recognises Castlecomer’s classification as a small town in the retail hierarchy described in the Development Plan.  The town’s retail activity is generally centred on the Square, and is comprised predominantly of basic convenience shopping and lower order comparison shopping.

The soon to be published Graiguenamanagh Local Area Plan 2021, identifies that the food and tourism sector could be enhanced to contribute further to the town’s economic development.   

The Thomastown Local Area Plan was adopted in 2019.  The LAP identifies that food and food tourism are an important contributor to the local economy.  There are a number of leisure trails, including a food trail, which supports the local food economy in the area.

The Ferrybank Belview Local Area Plan (2017) recognises the relationship between nearby Waterford City Centre and Ferrybank.  The designated district centre has remained unoccupied for retailing since it was constructed in 2009.  It currently houses a branch library and the Council Area Office.

Whilst at the current time Coronavirus dominates the retail news headlines, key to maintaining a strong economy post-pandemic will be retailers’ ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Notwithstanding the increase in sales in some sectors (including grocery), COVID-19 is guaranteed to have major implications for most retailers.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite continued global uncertainty, shifting consumer patterns, and the continued rise of internet shopping, the Irish economy and the retail sector remained strong and competitive.  In a market disrupted by continued changes in consumer behaviour, investing in the consumer experience is anticipated to be the key to success[1] in securing resiliency in retail stores moving forward. Kilkenny County is seeing the same shifting consumer patterns.  Planning policy can play an important role in helping to future proof city, town and village centres against the ongoing uncertainty.

 

[1]Sunday Independent 4th Nov 2018 Article, Dr. Conor Skehan

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