Stardust victims’ families surprised at Lidl planning bid

RELATIVES of the victims of the Stardust tragedy have expressed surprise that a supermarket group has applied to build an outlet on the site of the 1981 inferno, in which 48 people died.

German discount group Lidl has applied to Dublin County Council for planning permission to develop a 1,921sq m store at the Butterly Business Park on Kilmore Road in Artane.

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Riordáin said the application would confuse residents as Bord Pleanála is considering a separate application to develop a large mixed business and residential complex on the same site.

Mr Ó Riordáin, as well as other TDs and some residents’ groups, have appealed the decision of Dublin City Council to grant permission for the construction of 178 apartments and houses and a hotel, as well as several commercial units on the site.

The plans, which were lodged by the Butterly family, which owned the original nightclub, also makes provision for a “memorial plaza” to commemorate the victims of the tragedy.

However, relatives of the victims, who successfully challenged earlier plans by the Butterlys to convert a snooker hall on the site into a private members’ club, claim such a gesture is merely tokenism.

Residents said they were unaware if the Butterlys have sold or leased part or all of the site to Lidl.

Antoinette Keegan, a survivor of the Stardust fire which claimed the lives of her two sisters, Mary and Martina, said she was surprised at the plans by Lidl.

“At the same time, we’re never surprised at what the Butterlys plan to do with their land,” she added.

Mr Ó Riordáin said it was unusual practice to have two planning applications for the same site but stressed it was allowable under planning legislation. He acknowledged there were “mixed views” within the local community about any plans to develop the Stardust site.

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