Tesco and Lidl take gloves off over planning appeals

The gloves are off in the supermarket planning wars involving the UK’s Tesco and German discounter Lidl.

This follows Lidl accusing Tesco of engaging “in a potentially cynical attempt” of using the planning process to frustrate its expansion plans.

Over the past 12 months, Tesco has opposed at least six new Lidl retail outlets at An Bord Pleanála, and has lost out in every decision to date.

Now employing 4,000 here, Lidl currently spends €100m a year on opening stores.

Last month, An Bord Pleanála threw out Tesco’s opposition against Lid’s new Drogheda store and now the appeals board has released Lidl’s rebuttal letter to the plan.

In the letter, Lidl said Tesco should be considered “a serial objector” and repeats the claim in a fresh rebuttal letter concerning Tesco’s opposition at An Bord Pleanála against a store at Edenderry, Co Offaly.

On the Edenderry plan, Lidl says that having objected to numerous retail proposals by Lidl Ireland, it would appear that many of Tesco’s grounds of appeal are generally not upheld, often merely delaying planning permission.

In its appeal against the Edenderry plan, Tesco says the design and layout of the proposed development is not in keeping with the so-called Retail Design Manual.

The director of property and central services at Lidl, Alan Barry, would not be drawn on the number of Tesco appeals.

“We are committed to our expansion strategy,” he said.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “Tesco Ireland only ever raises planning objections where there is a legitimate planning ground or precedent to justify the objection.”

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