The Gem - as it once looked
There is to be a new coffee/shop restaurant in Naas.
Kildare County Council has approved a planning application for a cafe/restaurant at what was formerly known as The Gem at Poplar Square.
Calwood Properties Limited successfully applied for a change of use at the premises. It also applied for an “ancillary takeaway use”.
Calwood is associated with the BWG Group, which has a portfolio of well known retail brands including Spar, Londis, Eurospar and Mace and is a leading wholesale and distribution company here and in the UK.
The Gem closed down about two and a half years ago with difficult trading conditions being given as the reason.
After that the premises was put on the market to be let with a price tag of €5,000 per month.
A representative of Calwood told the Leader that the premises had been on the market to be rented for some 18 months “with very little interest” - prior to the planning application being lodged with KCC.
Naas Tidy Towns welcomed the application but criticised any proposal to open a take away food outlet.
The group pointed out that there are six take aways as well as a betting shop in Poplar Square.
The group also said that plans to redevelop Lawlor’s Hotel will enhance the square and the hotel “(does) not need a row of take aways on the square.”
NTT also expressed concerns about anti social behaviour, saying that this is a problem in this area and “putting another take away in would cause more problems.”
KCC feels that the development would not affect neither the amenity of the area nor individual properties in that part of Naas.
It is also seeking €6,800 in development levies.