A hotel and local residents have successfully challenged a decision by Dublin City Council to grant planning permission for a large new outlet for a German discount supermarket group.
An Bord Pleanála has overturned the decision by the local authority in June and refused permission for the store planned by Lidl in Drumcondra.
Although the planning appeals authority said the use of the site on Drumcondra Road Upper for a supermarket was acceptable and in compliance with the zoning for the area, it ruled that the design, scale, mass, and location of the proposed building was inappropriate for the local streetscape.
It said the planned store would be “visually obtrusive and incongruous” with other buildings in the area which include the Cregan Library on the St Patrick’s College campus and the Skylon Hotel: “It would detract and infringe upon the established building line in the vicinity of the development and would seriously injure the amenities of the area and of property in the vicinity.”
The plans also involved the demolition of a garage and Montessori school and crèche to make way for a mixed use, three-storey building which would incorporate the new Lidl store, an off-licence, and offices.
A planning inspector said the supermarket would not integrate in any way with other adjoining buildings, particularly the Cregan Library, and would be “overbearing”.
However, An Bord Pleanála did not uphold many of the grounds put forward by the owners of the adjacent Skylon Hotel as well as local residents from Home Farm Park.
An Bord Pleanála said it did not believe the store would significantly overshadow properties in the area. While it recognised it would generate extra traffic on a busy road, it did not believe the store would create an unacceptable traffic hazard or excessive levels of congestion.
Opponents of the project claimed it is wholly unsuitable for Drumcondra and warned it would have an adverse effect on existing businesses in the area including other supermarkets and the hotel.
Lidl argued there was a need for the new supermarket for anyone living within a five-minute drive of Drumcondra and that its opening would not impact on surrounding retailers.
Opponents said the area is already served by a Tesco supermarket, two Centra outlets, and a number of smaller neighbourhood stores, while it is also in close proximity to the Northside shopping centre and others in Phibsboro and at Omni Park in Santry.
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