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Abbey Quarter to complement not compete with existing Kilkenny retail offering

Concerns about the level of retail for Kilkenny’s newest city section have been raised by local councillors.

At the recent monthly meeting of the local authority, representatives of the Abbey Quarter were asked to outline the amount & type that’s expected to be facilitated at the old brewery site and if it’ll impact on existing businesses on nearby streets some of which are already under pressure.

But it seems while the site Masterplan aims to comprise 15 to 20% retail, all of that is expected to complement rather than compete with current offerings.

Cllr John Coonan was among those to raise the question having heard the issue discussed by city traders “Twas natural that when I saw 75,000 sq feet of development that I’d ask the question what type of retail they were speaking about or would it or might it affect what was already there on the High Street and the situation that we had concern about and so had the businesses but in fairness to Jason Clerkin from the group and Tony Lauhoff who represents the local council they explained to us that never was it the intention or would it be the intention to in any way affect the businesses in the High Street or indeed John Street & the city centre, in actual fact keeping the businesses in the city centre & their intention was to extend the choice of service to complement not compete”.

With a third of the site to be residential and a further third earmarked for offices, educational & leisure there’s a tenth put aside for creative & knowledge intensive business services Cllr Coonan adds “So it was to complement the services that were already there, the retail aspect of it, and I was happy with that because they did also explain as well that the development down the Abbey Quarter also includes 150,000 sq feet of residential so that means it’s a living centre as well so the whole idea of the development of the Abbey Quarter and the inter-development therein is to extend the heart of the city and to make it a living quarter and in actual fact to attract people into shop and to live in that quarter”.