PLANNING permission for a new Tesco supermarket in a North Cork town has been granted by Cork County Council.
The retail giant has been given permission to develop a 3,739sqm retail unit in the heart of Fermoy town.
The new Tesco store will be built on a site on the east of Mill Rd and north of Courthouse Rd and will include a restaurant, a 150-space car park with 72 cycle parking spaces, and a plaza linking the two roads.
The site covers the old Barry’s Timber Yard and a field which was previously used as an overflow parking area for the old mart and has been disused for several years.
Michael Lyons, chairman of the Fermoy Forum, a voluntary collaborative group of businesses and organisations, said it was good news for the town.
“We support all developments that will bring employment into the town, and it’s a great story for the town that Tesco believes it will be a good place to do business,” said Mr Lyons.
However, pointing out that traffic congestion was already an issue on the south-east of the town, Mr Lyons sounded a note of caution.
“The traffic management plan would have to occur in tandem with the development, because if there’s nothing done, and they throw in another supermarket, that would have a knock-on effect and I think we would be in difficulties,” he said.
Fianna Fáil county councillor Frank O’Flynn welcomed the development, saying it would bring in shoppers, bringing “much-needed” employment to the town.
“It’s a great vote of confidence for Fermoy,” said Mr O’Flynn. “Fermoy is doing exceptionally well post-Covid, and the heart of the town is coming back into life again.”
Fine Gael councillor Noel McCarthy said anything which would bring additional footfall to Fermoy would be very welcome.
“It will be good for the town, and anything that is good for the town is good for all of us,” said Mr McCarthy.
Earlier this year, Mr McCarthy had proposed a relief road to alleviate traffic congestion in the south-eastern part of Fermoy, suggesting it be built on land partly owned by Cork County Council, branching north-west off the N72 on the Tallow Rd, running parallel to the river and joining Mill Rd at the corner by the new Primary Health Care Centre and the Tesco site.
“I think that a relief road is still something we need to look at,” Mr McCarthy told The Echo.