An Bord Pleanála has given its backing for a new Lidl commercial development in Knocknacarra that has bounced back and forth from the board and city council.
Lidl Ireland submitted plans for a two-storey supermarket on land at the junction of Bothar Stiofáin and the Western Distributor Road.
This would encompass a Lidl store with off-licence, along with four other commercial units: a café/restaurant, a barbers, a nail salon, and a physiotherapy clinic.
The Lidl store alone would create 20-25 full time jobs the application states, with further jobs from the other units.
The development will 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.
This is the second time that the matter has come before An Bord Pleanála, which shot down the first attempt.
Lidl’s plans for a similar development on the site were approved by the city council, but rejected by An Bord Pleanála in May of 2019 on appeal by the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association.
RGDATA also appealed these plans, which were approved by the city council last September, but this time An Bord Pleanála upheld the approval.
In appealing the development, RGDATA said that it was 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 stated.
Lidl had sought to assuage the board’s concerns about the original design’s “horizontal emphasis”, “limited height”, and “blank facade” being out of character with the area, representing a “monolithic and poor quality” development.
The new plans submitted to the city council and An Bord Pleanála have been increased in height by 10.2m at the roundabout corner, extending along the eastern edge of the building, to help create a “landmark building”.
An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission with 18 conditions attached. Before work begins a landscaping plan must be submitted with proposed boundary treatments and the locations of indigenous plants and trees to be planted.