An Bord Pleanála blocks plans for Aldi supermarket in Ballybrit

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Galway Daily news An Bord Pleanála blocks plans for Aldi supermarket in Ballybrit

An Bord Pleanála has blocked plans for a new Aldi supermarket in Ballybrit, overturning the city council’s decision to grant it approval.

Planning permission was granted for the new store on the Monivea Road back in September of 2021.

The two storey supermarket would have a total of 1,254m² of retail space, and support 30 permanent jobs when opened.

The new supermarket would be served by 80 car parking spaces and 12 bicycle spaces, and feature four charging stations for electric vehicles.

However, appeals against the city council’s decision were lodged by Tesco Ireland and the Retail Grocery & Dairy Allied Trades Association (RGDATA) that October.

Tesco objected on the grounds that 60% of the site is zoned for commercial usage, while the rest is meant for industrial usage.

RGDATA said that it was “concerned with the proliferation of planned and permitted convenience stores in suburban locations throughout Galway City in recent years.”

Their object said that if this was allowed to continue, it could threaten the viability of the town centre.

In refusing planning permission, An Bord Pleanála focused on the zoning of the site, noting that it is reserved for ‘I’ industrial usage, or zoned ‘CI’ which provides for enterprise, light industry, and commercial uses other than those reserved for the city centre.

The decision further said that there is a specific objective in the city development plan to consider for this site.

This allows for, “only bulky goods retailing and local retailing needs and where there is an exception provided which would allow for food store development on specific sites at Briarhill”.

The bord said that allowing the development would contravene the city development plan, its Retail Hierarchy, and site zoning objectives.