AS the multi-million euro of expansion of Kildare Village moved a step closer with plans lodged with Kildare County Council, it has been revealed that 80% of outlet shoppers are not from Kildare.
In the planning application, which was lodged on February 1, a survey conducted last July by IPSOS MRBI on behalf of the owners, Retail Value Ireland, shows that 33% of the non Lilywhite visitors were from Dublin and 9% hailed from Cork. The survey also found that 65% of shoppers had travelled 30 minutes or more to the village. Visits to the village through Kildare Train station increased by 44% in 2011.
The application also alludes to the fact that the owners plan to construct the extension on a phased basis with the planning permission being sought over a ten-year period with progress dictated by the economic outlook. The plans cater for 34 new units, two restaurants, a new information centre and an extra 409 car parking spaces. The current access road from the roundabout on the Nurney Road is to be widened to allow for an extra lane of traffic. Retail Value Ireland predict that 380 full and part time jobs will be created when all the new units are fully let, while the construction phase is expected to bring 100 posts.
The extension will take place on the Kildare side of the retail outlet on a 3.4 hectare site adjoining the new Tesco store. The plans also provide for a pedestrian link through to Tesco which will provide a complete loop of the town when the Grey Abbey pedestrian access is taken into account. In the application, the owners say this will benefit access to Kildare town itself.
Submissions can be made by March 6 and a decision is due by March 27. With such a major application, it is thought the council may seek further information. The current site is currently a sports playing pitch used by Scoil na Mainistreach De La Salle, a car park and an open grass field. The school has given permission for the site to be used for the development.