Kells could be about to undergo a significant retail change under the ‘Frontlands’ plan.

Major retail development plans for Kells submitted

A PLANNING application for a major new shopping centre for Kells has been lodged with Meath Co Council.

One of the big international multiples is expected to be the anchor tenant in the development planned for the ‘Frontlands’.

A new post office, pedestrian access to Bective Street via a new archway, and the first phase of the new distributor road will also form part of the development.

The planning application was lodged by Royal Drive Developments last week and the proposal consists of a mixed use commercial development at the Frontlands site, which is to the rear of Bective Street, Kells.

The development will see the construction of the first phase of a new distributor Road for which planning permission has already been granted.

The phased mixed-use commercial development will include alterations to the Bective Street and Bective Road junction; construction of an access road with vehicular access provided via the new distributor road and a single-storey retail unit of 3,682sqm gross floor area including a licensed alcohol sales area and service yard.

A double height block with a 1,366sqm total gross floor area comprising a new 285sqm post office and a bulky goods retail unit of 1,075sqm is also proposed.

The development will include a further double height block with three retail units and a two-storey block with a further three units at ground floor level, with three office units above.

The proposals include plans to alter the front facade of the existing post office unit and the creation of an enlarged pedestrian archway with associated alterations at roof level and demolition of structures to the rear to provide for a cafe unit at ground floor level and office space at first floor level; as well as the provision of a pedestrian link from Bective Street through the enlarged archway.

The development will also include signage, 162 car parking spaces; 36 cycle parking spaces as well as set down/loading bay areas; surface water attenuation tanks, a flood compensatory storage tank and associated wetlands area including a ditch/watercourse diversion, plant, ESB substation, lighting, and all landscaping, enabling works and site services.

A decision is due on 16th October.

The planning application was welcomed by Cllr Sean Drew who said: "We have been waiting many, many years to see a planning application for the frontlands.

"The fact that this is directly adjacent to the existing town centre is one of the objectives for the developments of Kells.

"It will ensure an extension of the existing town centre and I welcome the employment it will create during construction and when the retail units open.

"For the past 20 years, development in Kells has been residential.

"The development of additional retail choice is welcome. It will serve not only the residents of Kells but the surrounding hinterland," he said.

A new distributor road for Kells was approved by An Bord Pleanala in 2020. It would link the existing road from Bective Street to Westfield to the R163 Climber Hall within the Frontlands Masterplan area and the first phase will be developed as part of the new shopping development.