The Irish arm of retail giant Tesco is attempting to slow the store expansion of German rivals Aldi and Lidl here.
In recent days Tesco Ireland has lodged two planning appeals to An Bord Pleanála against decisions by local authorities giving Aldi the go-ahead for a new store at Leixlip, Co Kildare and Lidl for a new store in Drogheda.
The lodging of the appeals follows success earlier this year for Tesco when it opposed plans for Aldi to develop a new store at Ardee, Co Louth.
Data obtained from An Bord Pleanála shows that in the last two years Tesco has had mixed success when opposing the expansion plans of the German discount chains.
In six appeals against discount stores’ planning applications, Tesco Ireland was successful on four occasions, with planning refused in Cork City, Malahide in Dublin, Baileborough, Co Cavan, and Kildare town.
The retailer’s practice of opposing proposed new Aldi and Lidl stores in towns and cities where it has a presence comes against a background of rapid growth for the two German retailers in the €10bn Irish grocery market.
Latest figures from market research company Kantar Worldpanel show their combined market share climbed to 22.3% for the 12 weeks to May 22.
That puts the German discount chains’ combined market share ahead of Dunnes Stores and roughly equal to Tesco and SuperValu.
Over the past three years, Aldi and Lidl’s market share has grown by 7% at a cost to the larger players in the business. Last year, Aldi announced 400 new jobs here as it aimed this year to open its 129th store.
However, in a bid to at least frustrate Aldi’s expansion plans, Tesco has lodged an appeal against Aldi’s planned store for Leixlip.
In its 30-page appeal, Tesco’s consultants argue that the proposed development is not in keeping with the adjoining lands in the Architectural Conservation Area “and that the proposed development should be revised as to ensure consistency with the surrounding developments”.
The appeal claims the proposal for Pound St, Leixlip, fails to meet development standards outlined in the statutory plans and is at odds with surrounding developments.
It claims that, if built, it “could affect the character of Leixlip and also lead to the creation of traffic conflicts at the location”.
This view is contrary to that of Kildare County Council, which ruled that the proposal would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and that all traffic issues associated with the development had been resolved.
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