An Bord Pleanála overturns permission for Westside Lidl

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Galway Daily news Second planning application made for Westside Lidl store

An Bord Pleanála has overturned planning permission granted for the construction of a new Lidl in the Westside area, but not for the reasons which were given in the appeal.

Lidl Ireland had plans to build a new discount foodstore on the site of the former Arch Motors on Seamus Quirke Road.

The project would have involved the demolition of two workshops to the rear of the site and a large portion of the Arch Motors premises.

In its place Lidl proposed to build a single storey discount foodstore with a total floorspace of 1,771sqm, and also convert a remaining portion of the Arch Motors premises to shop use.

On June 12 of this year, planning permission was granted by Galway City Council for the development with a total of 18 conditions attached.

An appeal was lodged against this decision by the HSE, which raised concerns about the potential impact of the development on helipad services for University Hospital Galway.

Plans have been agreed in principle for the construction of a permanent heliport facility for the hospital on lands adjacent to the proposed development.

However these concerns were addressed via an Aviation Assessment carried out by the the Proteus Group aviation consultants, and submitted by Lidl, proposing a range of mitigation measures for both the construction and operation of the store, which were accepted by the HSE.

Despite the fact that this seemed to resolve the grounds of the appeal which brought the matter before An Bord Pleanála, the higher planning authority overturned permission on the grounds that the plans did not comply with the zoning objectives of the site.

The C1 zoning objective for the site is to provide “enterprise, light industry and commercial uses other than those reserved for the City Centre zone”, and a specific objective of “bulky goods retailing and local retailing needs”.

Without an exception for a foodstore at this location, and with the existing supermarkets in the area, the board said that this development would be a “contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”