Mr Price operator to challenge planning refusal for Athy shop

An Bord Pleanála ruled premises could operate only as car showroom

The judge granted Corajio permission to bring the proceedings against An Bord Pleanála

The judge granted Corajio permission to bring the proceedings against An Bord Pleanála


The operators of the Mr Price chain of discount shops have been granted leave by the High Court to challenge a decision that it requires planning permission to operate its shop in Athy, Co Kildare.

An Bord Pleanála had ruled the premises has planning approval only to operate under its previous use as a car sales showroom.

Corajio Unlimited, trading as Mr Price Branded Bargains, wants an order quashing the board’s refusal to declare the Gallowshill shop did not require change-of-use permission because it was an exempted development.

On Monday, Mr Justice Charles Meenan granted Eamon Galligan SC, for Corajio, permission to bring the proceedings against the board with Kildare County Council and Supermacs Ireland as notice parties.

Supermacs owns the Athy building. The application was made on an ex-parte (one side only) basis.

Corajio says it opened the shop in 2018 after spending two years going through the planning system when it sought a declaration under planning legislation that the change of use was exempted.

‘No option’

In 2017 it says it “had no commercial option” but to fit out the premises because of a delay by An Bord Pleanála in making a decision on the exemption declaration.

In January 2018 the board decided it was not exempted. Kildare County Council then issued a warning letter stating the premises did not have permission to operate as a Mr Price store.

Corajio then made an application to the council seeking an exemption declaration on the basis that it had carried out works to the premises including the removal of an internal mezzanine that had been constructed.

The council refused, and after Corajio asked the board to review the decision, it again found against the retailer.

Corajio claims, among other things, that the board erred in law and took into account irrelevant considerations in making its decision; and also erred in concluding the change of use would contravene a condition of the original permission for the car showroom, it is claimed.

It also claims the board breached fair procedures by only notifying Supermacs of its decision.