Planning approval for a new discount Aldi store in Tuam has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.
Aldi secured planning permission from the county council last December for a 1,325sqm store on the Ballygaddy Road, Tuam.
The council only gave the discount retail store its approval after carrying out significant redesigns to improve on its “box like” appearance.
An appeal against the county council’s decision was lodged by the Retail, Grocery, Dairy & Allied Trade Association on January 23 of this year.
The RGDATA is a representative group for independent and family owned grocery outlets nationwide.
In their appeal the group stated that the viability of the commercial core of Tuam is “particularly vulnerable” with a high standing vacancy rate.
The appeal stated that the “edge of centre” location chosen for the new Aldi store would contravene the Local Area Plan’s Objective 4 of protecting the town core retail.
It was also argued that the Retail Impact Assessment submitted with the application was insufficient as it left out nearby Supervalu and Mr Price stores within the catchment area.
The location of the new store also contravenes the zoning objectives for this land, it is argued, which envisaged a larger scale, mixed use development rather than a low ceiling retailed.
It is also argued that the 97 parking spaces included in the plans are insufficient for the amount of retail floorspace in the development.
The site is currently a builder’s providers yard next to Glynn’s Homevalue Hardware, and part of this development will involve the demolition of an existing building and other structures on the site before construction.
In their application Aldi said the new store will “act as a driver for economic growth for the town of Tuam and its hinterlands”.
An Bord Pleanála is due to make a ruling on this case by May 27 of this year.