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Appeal lodged against Knocknacarra Lidl plans once again

Plans for the construction of a new Lidl discount supermarket in Knocknacarra have been appealed to An Bord Pleanála once again.

In September, Galway City Council granted approval for a mixed use development consisting of a new Lidl store, and multiple other commercial units, at the junction of Bothar Stiofáin and the Western Distributor Road.

The development will consist of a part one-storey, part two-storey building with a total floor space of 2,694sqm.

This includes a Lidl supermarket, a café/restaurant, a barbers, a nail bar, a physiotherapy clinic, and associated communal areas.

The store will be served by 87 car parking spaces, with vehicle access via a link road to the north of the site, connecting with Bothar Stiofáin.

This was the second time the city council had approved plans for a new Lidl store on this site, after a similar application was struck down on an appeal by the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association in May of 2019

This fresh approval has now been subject to two separate appeals to An Bord Pleanála. One by the RGDATA, appealing the entire project, and by Lidl Ireland itself, who are seeking to have a condition of the planning approval amended.

In appealing the development, RGDATA said that it is concerned about the proliferation of discount stores in Galway City suburbs, and the “cumulative effect” they might have on the viability of the city centre.

“If left unchecked, the high growth rate of discount stores is likely to result in a significant adverse retail impact on the city centre and existing centres,” the appeal states.

“In this context, we consider there is a need to appeal these applications to An Bord Pleanála, in order to safeguard the future retail primacy, vitality and viability of Galway City Centre, as espoused in the City Development Plan and the Retail Planning Guidelines.”

The appeal cites the impact of COVID-19 on city centre retail, the “over proliferation” of large scale discount stores in the area, and claims that the Retail Impact Assessment was inadequate, as is the provision of parking on site.

Lidl, for their park, are seeking to have Condition 3 of the grant of planning permission amended to remove language stating that: “the café and retail units shall be capable of being opened and operable at the same time as the opening of the main supermarket/retail store”.

Lidl as seeks to have all mentions of the term “retail” unit in Condition3 changed to “commercial”, as it says this language is inflexible, and could cause difficulties with prospective tenants.

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a ruling on this planning appeal by February 17 of 2021.

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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