Kilkenny County Council has recommended that planning permission be granted to merge two of the units in the Kilkenny Business Park, paving the way for Ken Black Toys to be located in the unit previously occupied by Byrne’s World of Wonder.
Permission is due to be granted to Smithsland Development Ltd to amalgamate units 6 and 7 into a single retail warehouse unit. The two units are part of the larger development that consists of a Woodies DIY anchor store, furniture store Meubles and 11 other units, of which four are occupied.
Plans for a new mezzanine floor area in unit 7 has been refused, however, because of the large amount of floor space already available.
“The retail park as a whole has a retail floor space which is 3,894 m2 above the national guidance in the retail planning guidelines for retail parks of this nature. This is significantly above (25.9%) the level of floor space identified in the Regional Planning Guidelines (15,000 m2) for retail warehouse parks selling truly bulky household goods as unlikely to have a material adverse impact on important town centres,” the planning file states.
“There are vacant units within the retail park which could accommodate the extra retail space proposed at mezzanine level in unit 7,” according to the planners.
Because of the precedent set by permitting Byrne’s to sell toys as bulky goods on the site, the sale of toys will continue to be allowed at the premises, but this does not include clothing, books or confectionary.
“For clarification this refers to selling of toys as ‘bulky goods’ and does not cover retailing of clothing, books, cards, stationery or confectionary,” the planning file states.
“The retailing of toys at this location has been established by the operation of Byrne’s World of Wonder in unit 6 previously.
“An issue arose in relation to the retailing of baby/children’s clothes, books and stationery, computer games, sweets etc in Byrne’s World of Wonder. This was dealt with through enforcement proceedings resulting in the removal of clothing, books, stationery and computer games from the store.”
“The principle of retailing toys from the store was not questioned at that time,” the planners point out.