Lidl has plans for Westside store rejected a second time

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Galway Daily news Lidl takes city supermarket plans to An Bord Pleanála

Planning permission has been refused once again for a new Lidl supermarket in the Westside area of Galway City.

Galway City Council said that the supermarket proposal would go against the specific Commercial-Industrial zoning objective for “bulky goods retailing and local retail needs” on this land.

Granting planning permission would therefore be “contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development” of the area, the council said.

Lidl planned to demolish the former Arch Motors dealership on the Seamus Quirke Road to make way for a single storey supermarket, with another retail unit attached.

The adjoining Monaghan’s Westside Shop and Filling Station was to be left intact, and a small portion of the former Arch Motors premises there would be converted to shop use.

Revisions were also be ma to the existing vehicle and pedestrian access points to the site, and to the right turn lane on the Seamus Quirke Road.

The City Council has previously approved plans for a Lidl supermarket here in June of 2020, but that decision was overturned by An Bord Pleanála last November, citing much the same zoning reasoning as the city council gives here.

The planning department of Galway City Council said that this fresh application is “almost identical” to the one reject by the Bord, and that “nothing has altered” in the development plan or specific zoning objectives since then.

“Therefore, this element of the rational and reason for refusal by ABP, while examined by the applicant, is not overcome as the development plan designations and policy have not altered and the refusal reason remains valid.”

Three submissions were made to the city council objecting to these plans by the HSE, the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association, and Tesco Ireland.

The HSE was concerned that the development might have a negative impact on the hospital helipad located behind the site, and the air ambulance services operating from there.

RGDATA said that it was concerned about the “proliferation” of convenience stores in suburban areas, which it said poses a threat to the “vitality and viability” of the city centre.