The shock refusal of planning permission for two separate cinema projects for Navan is robbing the town of millions of euro in investment and hundreds of jobs, it has been claimed.
An Bord Pleanala's decision on Monday to refuse the two planning applications for two new state-of-the-art multiplexes has been described as an "economic mugging" of the town by Cllr Shane Cassells, who said it was "a stunning anti-jobs decision".
An application by Flix Cinema and Leisure Ltd to develop a 10-screen cinema building with 1,918 seats, café and seating area at the Navan Retail Park on the Athboy Road, was refused by the planning appeals board on Monday.
Also refused was an application by Tymonview Ltd to construct a nine-screen cinema complex at the junction of the Navan Inner Relief Road and Ratholdren Road in Navan, which would also include a café, VIP meeting room, kids' party area and computer entertainment area.
Darren Corcoran of Flix Cinema and Leisure Ltd said they were absolutely shocked by the decision which, he pointed out, had the support of Meath County Council, the local community and the majority of businesses.
He said they had other options and they would be reviewing the decision at a board meeting later this week to decide whether to submit a new application for Navan.
However, Eamonn Duignan of Lexeme Ltd, one of these who objected to the Flix proposal, said he couldn't understand the reaction to the refusal, as the project was in breach of the county development plan.