New planning guidelines mean larger warehouse type stores will no longer be permitted for development in Sligo.
The new regulations published last night by the Department of the Environment will reduce the number of locations where larger stores such as IKEA or large DIY and garden retailers can be built.
Under the previous guidelines, stores with a footprint in excess of 6,000 sq m, such as Ikea, could be built not only in Dublin and the four large city areas but also in Sligo and Letterkenny.
The guidelines row back on the development of warehouse and "out-of-town" retail stores permitted in 2005.
Such stores are not now permitted and must be restricted to Dublin and the larger cities only.
Minister of State for Planning Jan O'Sullivan said the new guidelines would refocus retail development toward "plan-led" approach.