2.6 Strategy for the Town Centre
2.6.1i Fethard is shadowed in shopping terms by its close proximity to the larger retail centre of Clonmel. However, the town does provide a range of shops to meet the needs of the residents, workers and visitors. The town centre provides an important sense of place and community identity, and in addition to shopping facilities, the town hosts a mixture of services, tourist and leisure facilities. The emphasis in the Plan is to protect and reinforce the role and viability of the town centre of Fethard.
2.6.1ii The town centre and hinterland contain many historic properties which are important to the character of the town centre. It is also important that these structures and the environment surrounding these sites is preserved and enhanced.
2.6.1iii In the five year period since 1994, a number of the registered derelict sites have been developed or are in the process of being developed. However, there remain a significant number of sites requiring development, the development of which would improve the quality of the environment and help to further the objective of consolidating the town centre.
2.6.1iv The introduction of a shop front guide in the 1994 Plan has influenced new commercial development in the town centre. It is important that all new development preserves and enhances the quality of the streetscapes adding to colour and vitality.
2.6.1v The unauthorised removal of architectural details (such as sash windows) which are important to the historic character of the town is to be avoided. The accumulation of a number of small breaches of planing control can have a detrimental affect on the character and appearance of the town centre.
Policy TOWN.1: Town Centre
It is the policy of the Council to strengthen the town centre function of Fethard as a commercial, cultural and living centre.
2.6.2i Through its zoning objectives, the Planning Authority will only allow development in the outer zones that will enhance rather than detract from the town centre.
Policy TOWN.3: Shop Fronts
It is the Policy of the Council to encourage the retention of shop-fronts of quality. The replacement or repair of shop fronts should be completed according to the Council’s guidance outlined in Appendix 2 (Conservation Area Design Statement).
2.6.2ii The character and appearance of Fethard is a mix of Medieval and 19th century. It is important, therefore, that new shop fronts preserve and enhance that character while respecting the building’s original structural image.
2.6.2iii When designing new shops and redesigning old units, applicants must consider the needs of the mobility impaired to ensure that town centres are accessible to all.
C1. Improve pedestrian and mobility impaired facilities in the town.
C2. Seek improvement of shop fronts and streetscapes, taking enforcement action where necessary to achieve compliance.
C3. Redesign the entrance to the town hall.
C4. Encourage repair rather than replacement of timber sash windows.
C5. Encourage the redevelopment of derelict or obsolete sites.