City Council approves Knocknacarra Lidl plans for the second time

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Galway Daily news Lidl has plans for Westside store rejected a second time

Galway City Council has granted planning permission for a mixed use development consisting of a new Lidl store, and multiple other commercial units, in Knocknacarra.

This is Lidl Ireland’s second attempt to build a discount supermarket 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.

Lidl also proposes to have 87 car parking spaces serving the site, with vehicle access via a link road to the north of the site, connecting with Bothar Stiofáin.

Previous plans for a similar development on the site were approved by the city council, but struck down by An Bord Pleanála in May of 2019 on appeal by the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association.

The Board refused permission then due to the building’s design, with its “horizontal emphasis”, “limited height”, and “blank facade” being out of character with the area, representing a “monolithic and poor quality” development.

The Board also said that while the amount of retail space was “generally justifiable” for the District Centre, the proposed design did not create the necessary “landmark building” for the area.

This application was also objected to by RGDATA, which said there is no need for another discount foodstore in this area.

In this application, the planning inspector for Galway City Council noted that the building height has been increased by 10.2m at the roundabout corner, extending along the eastern edge of the building.

“With regards to a ‘landmark’ building, it is considered that the elevations the increase in height all contribute to the establishment of an identifiable urban edge design in a contemporary commercial/retail building,” the inspector’s report said.

Galway City Council granted Lidl planning permission for the mixed used development with a total of 17 conditions attached.