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Third Time’s A Charm: Maxol return with Ardee application

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The former John McCabe Motors building in Ardee. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

Maxol Limited have not yet given up hope of opening up a new service station in Ardee, with the company having filed a planning permission application with Louth County Council to redevelopment the former McCabes Garage site at the Glebe.

The fuel giant’s latest bid – their third in as many years – has been filed despite twice being denied the opportunity to develop the site by An Bord Pleanala, who have on both occasions overturned Louth County Council’s conditional planning permission award.

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The latest bid sees Maxol look to develop the existing car showrooms and site with the construction of a new petrol filling station with a shop, café and hotfood/deli counters, an off licence and a children’s play area. They intend to build a forecourt canopy and drive-thru car wash while adding two new access points to the site, in addition to moving the current access on the old Tallanstown Road.

Associated road improvements, parking, revisions to existing retaining wall, underground storage tanks, bunkering facilities, signage, lighting columns, fencing, new drainage infrastructure and landscaping are all included in the application also.

The closing date for submissions on the application is January 13th 2018, with a decision due from the local authority three weeks later on February 3rd.

The companies interest of opening up a new outlet at the site at Glebe in Ardee has been longstanding. In 2015, ambitious plans for a new service station also included a gym, a restaurant and an office and meeting rooms. They were removed by the time Maxol returned a year later with a second application.

Situated where the Ardee Link Road meets the N2, the service station would provide competition for others in Ardee – including the Texaco Carrick Road Filling Station, located just a short distance from the site.

The first bid was ultimately denied by An Bord Pleanala after a raft of objections against it were lodged – and it was the very same outcome in 2016. It is again expected that a number of strong objections will be raised against the proposed development.  On both previous occasions, John Malone was among the objectors to the new build, alongside Petrogas Group – the owners of Applegreen.

The the old McCabes Garage at the Glebe has been closed since 2013.

Much of the new application is very similar if not identical to the previous bid 16 months ago.

The renewal of Maxol’s interest will spark debate in Ardee. The denial of permission in 2015 and 2016 pleased those who felt such a move would take away from existing business in the area and in the town, but with reports suggesting 55 full and part time jobs were to be created once the complex opened, it was seen as a blow for potential employment in the region.

However, it appears Maxol’s bid could be doomed yet again. It doesn’t vary all that much from previous applications – which were overturned by An Bord Pleanala due to it contravening Ardee Local Area Plan policy. That seeks “to preserve and strengthen the town centre as the main focus for retail and commercial development to serve the needs of the town’s people and wider rural hinterlands”.

The decision for Maxol Limited to revisit the Glebe site comes at odds at proposed plans to turn some vacant land south of the old McCabes Garage site at the Glebe in Ardee into a public car park – to try and alleviate the issue of all-day parking in the town.

Back in October, Independent councillor Jim Tenanty asked Louth County Council whether it would be possible to take out a compulsory purchase order on the area, directly across from the Malone Oil site on the Tallanstown Road.

“It would an ideal location for a car park,” he told ThisIsArdee.ie. Tenanty proposed that daily commuters can park their cars there and walk the short distance to the bus shelter in the south bound lane of the N33 Link Road, between the two roundabouts.

The site at the old McCabes Garage that was proposed as a public car park.

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