Wexford's Oak Tavern could rise from the ashes

By David Tucker

Published 23/06/2015 | 00:00

The gated site where the Oak Tavern once stood.
The gated site where the Oak Tavern once stood.

A Wexford town businessman is re-applying for planning permission to build a new bar and restaurant on the ashes of the landmark Oak Tavern at Ferrycarrig Bridge which was destroyed in a fire in 2006.

Thomas McGuinness has applied for permission for the development, including all associated site works, car parks and junction improvement works to the N11.

The application says the proposed development represents the substantial replacement of the former Oak Tavern building which was previously granted planning permission.

A submission by Aidan Nolan Planning and Design on behalf of Mr. McGuinness points that the existing planning permission is due to expire on July 8, but work - the substantial replacement of the former Oak Tavern Building - could not commence without Wexford County Council agreement on the road improvement works on the N11, which was received on March 20, 2015.

An application for extension of duration for the development was made on October 2, 2014, but was refused on December 12, 2014 on the sole grounds that 'the site is located within the Slaney River valley, Wexford Harbour and the Slobs, and that consequently a Natural Impact Statement would be required in order to ascertain if there are likely significant impacts on the Natura 2000 network.'

As 'the remaining time period available is inadequate to substantially complete the project,' Mr. Nolan says it has been decided to re-apply for planning permission for the same development, as was previously granted, but including a Natural Impact Statement.

The new planning application addresses issues raised by the planning authority including the provision of five parking spaces for people with disabilities.

An archeaologist has been retained to monitor all site investigations while proposed works to be carried out on the N11, to provide a safe access, have been revised and improved in agreement with the National Roads Authority.

'We believe that this planning application, although more detailed in its presentation, represents broadly the same development that was previously granted planning permission,' says Mr. Nolan.

The 200-year-old Oak Tavern, once one of Wexford's best-known pubs, was gutted within the space of a couple of hours when fire broke out in April, 2006. No-one was injured in the fire at the pub which at that time was conservatively estimated to be worth €2.5 million.

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