Resident takes High Court action against planned new Aldi store

A dispute over a planned new Aldi supermarket in Laytown, Co Meath, has come before the High Court.

Resident takes High Court action against planned new Aldi store

By Ann O'Loughlin

A dispute over a planned new Aldi supermarket in Laytown, Co Meath, has come before the High Court.

Local resident, Eoin Kelly, was given permission by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan today to bring judicial review proceedings against An Bord Pleanala over its decision last April to give permission to demolish a disused nursing home facing the seafront at Strand Road and replace it with a 1,729 metre Aldi store and car park.

The application was made on an ex-parte one side only represented basis by John Kenny BL, on behalf of Mr Kelly. Meath Co Council and Aldi are notice parties.

Mr Kenny said the challenge is based on a number of grounds including that the board inspector limited his consideration of a screening report vis-a-vis the affect of the development on special areas of conservation (SAC) to a two kilometre radius when he was obliged, under EU Habitat regulations, to consider an area within 15km.

The Boyne river coast and estuary SAC is located 4km north of the site.

The inspector found no direct interference or loss of habitat would occur as a result of the development, but he had applied the wrong statutory test in doing so, counsel said.

The challenge is also being brought on grounds the inspector had used a flawed approach to assessing spare retail capacity for another supermarket in Laytown.

There was a failure to take into account that there is spare capacity of some 15,000 square metres of space in nearby Bettystown which is the core retail area for both Laytown and Bettystown in the county development plan, counsel said.

Mr Justice Noonan was satisfied to grant leave to bring judicial review proceedings and said the case could come back to court in January.

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