Plans for a new 1,400-seat nine-screen cinema at the Navan Retail Park, which were approved by Meath County Council last month, face a delay after appeals were lodged with An Bord Pleanala against the granting of planning permission.
The Omniplex Holdings cinema chain was granted permission to carry out remedial works to amalgamate three existing units in the Navan Retail Park into a nine-screen multiplex with the latest 4D technology,
However, appeals have been lodged by Showtime Cinemas, Diamond Cinemas, Paul Egan and Liz Egan against the granting of planning permission for the cinema. A decision is due on the appeal by 10th November.
News of the granting of permission for the cinema had been widely welcomed in the Navan area.
The permission had paved the way for the conversion of three existing units into a cinema complex at the retail park on the Athboy road in Navan. Fianna Fail whip on Meath County Council,
Cllr Shane Cassells, who has backed the planning application of the multiplex cinema, said that while people had the right to appeal, there was a massive groundswell of public support towards the development of the new cinema from the people of the town. “Of course, people have the right to appeal but I don’t think that it is lost on anyone that one of the appellants is Showtime Cinemas from Ashbourne, who are themselves located in a retail park. I trust this point will not be lost on the members of An Bord Pleanala either when they are reading the comments of these appellants,” remarked Cllr Cassells.
“There was a flood of support for the granting of the permission for the cinema on social media with literally thousands of people endorsing it on the Meath Chronicle Facebook site. The people of this town and county want it to go ahead. I hope that the members of An Bord Pleanala will listen to their voices,” he said.
Among the issues raised in the appeals were that the development of the cinema in a retail park on the periphery of the town was inappropriate, that it would negatively impact on the vitality and viability of Navan town centre and that it failed to recognise the role of Diamond Cinema as a key attraction in Navan’s retail core.