Council taking Dealz store to court over zoning breaches
More than 20 jobs hang in the balance as Wexford County Council takes court action against Dealz in Clonard to stop the shop from trading in contravention of zoning regulations.
Poundland, trading as discount store Dealz, has been summonsed to appear at Wexford District Court in enforcement proceedings brought by the local authority which refused the company planning permission for a retention of change of use from retail warehousing to a shop.
Wexford Retail Park in Clonard Little is zoned for the sale of bulky household goods such as furniture, electrical goods, DIY and garden products. Aldi supermarket was granted a material contravention of the Wexford development plan to allow it to open in the area. The centre also houses Mr. Price, Petmania and Home Focus at Hickeys.
The Council is taking action against Dealz for contravening the zoning provision in a case which could have repercussions for other businesses in the same retail complex and similar retail centres around the town where bulky goods restrictions also apply and where several retailers are not strictly complying with planning conditions.
It is estimated that of nine retailers in the same centre, only three are fully compliant with the bulky goods condition which states that 'the use of the floorspace in the entirety of these units shall be restricted exclusively to the storage and selling of bulky household goods.'
The local authority enforcement case against Dealz is scheduled to be heard in the District Court on Tuesday, October 24 and will be closely watched by those businesses who are also in contravention of the town's zoning regulations which are designed to protect the town centre.
It is understood that in pursuing Dealz, Wexford County Council is acting on a complaint made by a third party, which it is obliged to do.
Dealz which has four stores in County Wexford,including one on Wexford's South Main Street, has appealed to planners and local councillors to be allowed to continue trading at the store in Clonard which is staffed by 24 full-time employees and seasonal staff.
Cllr. Deirdre Wadding has told a Council meeting that Dealz is not the only one breaching the bulky goods condition and there seems to be 'a difference in approach to different businesses'.
In its application to the Council, Dealz has argued that Wexford Retail Park in Clonard should be re-designated as a Neighbourhood Centre to legitimise current unauthorised uses and encourage 100% occupancy.
Dealz has said it is committed to trading at both locations in Wexford town.