Discount stores

Court closes two Waterford discount stores


Two discount stores in Co Waterford, which opened just before the start of the Christmas market, must close, the High Court has ordered.

A third store in the city of Waterford, all operated as ‘Homesavers’ stores, may remain open but may not sell everyday consumer goods, including food, clothing and shoes, Judge Garrett Simons said .

The City and County Council of Waterford last month obtained an interim injunction preventing Homesaver operators from staying open as it was claimed they were in breach of the building permit.

The shops can be found in the former PC World unit on Cork Road in Waterford City, while the other two are in Dungarvan and Waterford. The action targeted the operators of Homesavers: Centz Retail Holdings, Centz Stores 7, Centz Stores 8, ICE Cosec Service and Group Managing Director Naeem Maniar.

Injunction

The Homesaver respondents have secured the court to lift the injunction pending a decision on the full proceedings, which was heard earlier this month by Judge Simons. They admitted that Dungarvan and Tramore did not have a building permit for commercial use, although they submitted planning applications “late” for them, the judge said.

As for the Waterford City premises, they maintained the existing planning permission allowing them to operate if it was for commercial use, but they accepted that the sale of ‘commodities Is excluded.

However, they contested the council’s interpretation of the existing authorization, in particular the ban on the sale of non-bulky goods.

They also claimed that the council’s approach to dealing with these issues demonstrated “motivation to attack Homesavers’ operations at all three stores with brute force”, was instigated by competitors and would result in job losses.

“Train credibility”

In his judgment ordering the closure of two stores and restrictions on the third, Judge Simons said he “puts a strain on the credulity” that such a resource-rich company with more than 30 retail outlets in Ireland does. would not have taken legal and planning advice before executing long leases on these three premises.

He said Homesavers’ criticism of the council’s approach was untenable.

The respondents had “no defense” with respect to Dungarvan and Waterford and the court refused to exercise its discretion to postpone a closure order pending the outcome of applications to develop these stores, he said. he declares.

It would be against the public interest to ensure planning compliance in circumstances where the respondents have shown a “reckless disregard” for the requirement to obtain a building permit prior to opening. Closure orders were to go into effect at midnight on Wednesday and any unauthorized signage was to be removed within 72 hours.

Waterford City premises can continue to operate but will be barred from selling clothing, footwear and everyday consumer goods, including non-durable household items and food. Unauthorized signs must also be removed within 72 hours.