5.4.7 Retail Policies

Dúnta22 Nol, 2020, 09:00 - 12 Már, 2021, 17:00
​​​​​5.4.7 Retail Policies

Having regard for the retail objectives outlined above, a set of retail policies have been drafted. In formulating and adhering to these policies, Kilkenny County Council will ensure that the development of all future retail floorspace is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the 2012 Retail Planning Guidelines, the National Planning Framework and the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy.

Policy 1: Plan-led approach

All proposals for retail floorspace and town centre uses, must accord with the relevant requirements of the Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2012 and the Kilkenny County Retail Strategy 2021-2027.

Policy 2: Retail hierarchy

Development in the County’s centres should be of a type, size and scale appropriate to the centre, having due regard for the retail hierarchy and the appropriate level of development at each tier. The appropriate level of development at each tier is defined at Table 5.4.

Table 5.4 Summary of Appropriate Level of Retail Development


Settlement Category


Appropriate Level of Retail Development



None at present

Major retail destination within the County, offering a wide variety of convenience and comparison goods along with an extensive offer of retail, financial and business, leisure services including arts and cultural facilities. Provides a range independent and specialist shops.


Large towns

Kilkenny City

Key shopping destination offering a variety of convenience and comparison goods, along with a range of retail and leisure services and some financial and business services.



Smaller towns and villages






Local shopping destination serving the surrounding hinterland with a limited offer of convenience and comparison goods, and retail and leisure services.


Smaller settlements and rural areas


Limited retail offer generally comprising a local convenience store, public house, fuel filling station and post office.

Policy 3: Town centre vitality and viability

Within the Core Retail Areas in Kilkenny City and the District Towns, development proposals that will contribute to the vitality and viability of the town centre will be permitted.  Residential development will be encouraged on the upper floors of town centre properties.

Policy 4: City/Town centre first

In addition to the sequential approach outlined in the Retail Planning Guidelines, Kilkenny County Council will adopt a City/Town centre first policy.  Where the location of a proposed retail development is in an edge-of-centre or out-of-centre location, a sequential test must be applied in line with the Retail Planning Guidelines. The order of priority for the sequential approach is to locate retail development in Kilkenny City Centre CRA, the District Town Centre CRAs and village centres, and only to allow retail development in edge-of-centre or out-of-centre locations where all other options have been exhausted. The sequential test should be strictly applied and applicants will be required to consider altering their formats and considering smaller sites and multi-storey options. In accordance with RPO 151(f) and (g) of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy, adequacy of parking provision at non-residential sites will not be considered as a measure for site suitability in sequential tests.

Where retail development at an edge-of-centre site is being proposed, permission will only be granted where the applicant can demonstrate that there are no sites or potential sites including vacant units within the city/town/village centres that are (a) suitable (b) available and (c) viable, as defined at Paragraph 4.4.2 of the Retail Planning Guidelines.

Where no town centre or edge of centre sites are available, the Planning Authority must not approve development unless it is satisfied that there will be no negative impact on the viability or vitality of the city/town centre. Where retail development at an out-of-centre site is being proposed, the site will only be considered where the applicant can demonstrate that:

a) there are no sites or potential sites either within, or on the edge of, Kilkenny City Centre, the District Town Centres and village centres that are (a) suitable (b) available and (c) viable; and

b) they would contribute towards and support the achievement of compact growth and revitalisation/rejuvenation of city or town centre as envisaged in objectives 3c, 4 and 6 of the National Planning Framework in order to allow a positive presumption in favour of the application under NPO 11 of the NPF.

Policy 5: Retail Impact Assessment

A Retail Impact Assessment will be required for development which features:

a) Proposals of greater than 1,000 sq. m of net floorspace in Kilkenny city, including extensions to existing units; or

b) Proposals of greater than 500 sq. m of net retail floorspace in all other settlements, including extensions to existing units.

As described at Paragraph 4.9 and Annexe 5 of the Retail Planning Guidelines, the Retail Impact Assessment shall at a minimum include the following:

(i) Identification of catchment or study area;

(ii) Estimation of expenditure available within the defined catchment or study area;

(iii) Estimation of the turnover of existing centres within the catchment area which is likely to be affected by a new development;

(iv) Estimation of the turnover of the new development for which a planning application is being lodged; and

(v) Estimation of the quantum of consumer retail spending available in the catchment area which will be diverted from existing centres to the new retail development.

In addition to the above, the Retail Impact Assessment shall demonstrate how the development proposal would contribute towards and support the achievement compact growth and revitalisation/rejuvenation of city or town centres as envisaged in objectives 3c, 4 and 6, 11 and 27 of the National Planning Framework.

Policy 6: Kilkenny City Centre

In order to ensure the retail function, profile and competitiveness of Kilkenny City is retained, applications for retail development and other town centre uses that will make a contribution to retaining Kilkenny’s role as the dominant retail destination within the County will be supported.

Retail development and other main town centre uses should be prioritised to be located within Kilkenny’s Core Retail Area to ensure the vitality and viability of the historic core is protected and promoted.  Similarly, it is of great importance to ensure that the historic character of the Core Retail Area is protected.  An important balance must be struck between creating a dynamic and commercially successful retailing environment and an attractive historic setting. Proposals that incorporate improvements to the City’s laneways will be supported by the Council, particularly where involving creative solutions designed to activate redundant spaces.

Policy 7: Town centre accessibility

Improvements to the accessibility of each of the centres will be supported.  In particular, proposals that include developing a pedestrian and cyclist friendly environment, and/or improve safety and limit traffic congestion will be prioritised.  Wherever possible, development that encourages a shift towards sustainable modes of transport will be encouraged.

Policy 8: High quality public realm

Development proposals that incorporate improvements to public realm within town centres, and particularly within the Core Retail Areas, shall be supported by the Council.

Policy 9: Historic environment

Development within each of the centres should be designed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 9 Heritage.

Policy 10: Amalgamation of units

The Council may accept proposals for the amalgamation of two or more units within a centre where the applicant can demonstrate:

a) There is no alternative vacant unit of an appropriate size and location for the proposal; and

b) The proposal would not detract from the overall vitality and viability of the centre; and

c) Where relevant, the proposal has been designed using appropriate conservation principles and expertise (See Chapter 9 Heritage), thereby retaining the building in use and maintaining the essential character of the streetscape.

Policy 11: Traffic and Transport Assessment

Applications for retail development proposals for more than 1,000 sq. m net floorspace shall be required to submit a Traffic and Transport Assessment (TTA). As required by the Retail Planning Guidelines, the TTA must examine the transport impacts of a proposed development, incorporating any subsequent measures necessary to ensure roads and junctions and other transport infrastructure, including car parks, in the vicinity of the development are adequate to accommodate the proposed development without causing additional delays or issues to existing and future road based traffic. Most importantly, a TTA will be required to demonstrate how to encourage a shift towards sustainable travel modes by those using the retail development in question.

Policy 12: Tourism, Markets and Events

Development proposals within the County’s centres that seek to improve the tourism offer will be supported.  Tourism proposals should contribute to improving a positive public perception.  Proposals that form a link between tourism and the offer of the town centre will be looked upon favourably by the Council.  Similarly, markets and public events that are expected to have a positive influence on public perception of a centre will be supported.  Within Kilkenny City Centre, proposals that would make a positive contribution to the function of the Medieval Mile will be supported.

Policy 13: Retail Parks

No further retail parks will be granted permission in and around Kilkenny City and Environs over the period of this City and County Development Plan.

Policy 14: The Abbey Quarter and Retail Phasing

The Abbey Quarter[1] will be the focus for city centre expansion (including convenience and comparison retailing) in the City & Environs over the plan period and City Centre expansion shall take place in a phased approach.  The following phasing of development lands for retail within the City & Environs is proposed:

Retail Phase 1: Abbey Quarter and, at an appropriate scale, MacDonagh Junction;

Retail Phase 2: The former mart site at the Castlecomer Road.

The release of phase 2 lands for major retailing will only be considered where either planning permission is granted and/or the local authority is satisfied that, significant expansion has already occurred on the phase 1 lands and that any additional retailing on the phase 2 lands will not have a negative impact on the vitality or viability of the retail core or other centre.  It is considered that the definition of major retail expansion for the purposes of this section of the City & Environs is 1,000 sq. m for convenience goods and 2,000 sq. m for comparison goods.

Policy 15: Joint Retail Strategy

To carry out a joint Retail Strategy with Waterford City and County Council for the area covered by the Waterford Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP) in accordance with the Retail Guidelines and Waterford MASP policy Objective 19 of the RSES.


[1] Kilkenny County Council, Urban Design Framework Masterplan for Abbey Creative Quarter, Kilkenny, 2015

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