Plan to expand Lidl store in Mitchelstown is approved
SEE LIDL DEMOLISH STORE AND BUILD NEW ONE ON SITE
THE move by German discount giant Lidl to expand its North Cork operation has been given a boost for the second week in succession after a plan to demolish and rebuild its Mitchelstown store and replace it with a larger one was approved.
The news comes just a week after An Bord Pleanála gave Lidl permission for a similar proposal in Kanturk, which had also been referred to the appeals board following an objection from RGDATA, the representative body for independent Irish retailers.
In February, despite an objection by RGDATA, council planners approved an application to tear down the existing 1,768 sq metre store on a 2.7 acre site at Brigown, Mitchelstown, and replace it with a new 2,680sq metre store ranging in height from one to two storeys.
The application made provision for new external signage, a trolley bay and parking for 122 cars and 28 bicycles and motorcycles.
While the plan made provision for the main vehicular entrance from the Fermoy Road site to remain in place, it also included a dedicated new pedestrian access point adjacent to its northern boundary.
Council planners did impose 16 conditions relating to issues such as road and traffic safety, the protection of existing amenities both during and after demolition/construction, the disposal of waste and noise pollution.
Lidl was also ordered to pay €44,660.54 under the council’s Development Contribution Scheme.
The decision was referred to the appeals board following a further submission by RGDATA, whose director general Tara Buckley wrote that the size of the proposed new store would have a detrimental impact on existing shops in the town centre and surrounding areas.
The submission went on to list other reasons for objecting to the development, including its zoning, saying it would constitute a “significant and unnecessary” intensification of retail provision that would have a major impact on the nearby residential development and limit future residential development of the area.
It further pointed out there were currently 12 vacant retail premises in the town centre, expressing concern that the “over-development at this site” would result in a loss of footfall in the town and more retail outlets closing their doors.
They also contested that the number of retail outlets operating in the town was “more than sufficient” to cater for current demand.
However, in their ruling An Bord Pleanála inspectors said the development would not “adversely affect the vitality and viability of Mitchelstown town centre.”
They further ruled the development “would not seriously injure visual amenities of the area and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety.”
“The proposed development would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”, read their report.
The appeals board did impose 12 conditions that Lidl must adhere to for their ruling to be valid.
These included that the new sales area not exceed 1,424 sq metres and dealt with other issues included opening and delivery hours, the noise levels, impact on visual amenities and that no additional development could take place above roof level without prior planning permission.
A plan to demolish the Lidl store in Mitchelstown and replace it with a larger one has been given the thumbs-up.