Lidl granted permission for Douglas supermarket and apartments

Retail rival Tesco had raised concerns over Lidl’s plan when it was before Cork City Council
Lidl granted permission for Douglas supermarket and apartments

The proposed Lidl supermarket in Douglas with eight apartments overhead.

Lidl’s €550m Irish expansion plans have received a boost with the German discount retailer securing the green light for contentious plans for a new outlet at Douglas outside Cork City.

In granting planning permission to Lidl Ireland GmbH for a new store for a site on the Douglas Relief Road roundabout, An Bord Pleanála has overturned a decision by Cork City Council to refuse planning permission for the outlet last August.

Retail rival, Tesco Ireland raised concerns over Lidl’s plan when it was before Cork City Council.

Planning consultants for Tesco, Avison Young stated its client’s concerns related to the design and layout of the planned outlet and that the proposal did not accord with policies in the Cork City Development Plan and Retail Planning Guidelines.

Local councillors, residents along with the Douglas Tidy Towns also objected to the planned Lidl outlet.

The Council refused planning permission for one reason relating to incompatibility with a development plan objective for the land and injury to visual amenity.

The four-storey scheme also includes apartments on the top two levels and now the appeals board has granted planning permission for the scheme after concluding that the outlet is an appropriate design response to the site’s context and would be acceptable in terms of height, scale and mass.

The new Douglas store is part of Lidl’s ambitious expansion for Ireland - last July, the German retailer announced a three-year plan for here to invest €550m in building 20 new stores and refurbishing 24 existing stores.

Appeals board inspector in the case, Kevin Moore stated in his conclusions that the Council “has not demonstrated how the proposed development causes such significant visual injury”.

Mr Moore stated that the proposed development “is entirely consistent and compatible with the uses, form and character of development on adjoining lands”.

He said: “The site is an infill site that requires a reasonably consistent form of retail development. This is being achieved by the proposal.” 

The Lidl appeal prepared by The Planning Partnership of Blackrock Road, Cork stated that the proposed development would change the character of the existing undeveloped pocket of land on which the site is located but will not change the character of the overall area which is urbanised.

The appeal stated that the proposed would not seriously injure the visual amenities of the area and that the building form and materials proposed present an appropriate quality urban design that responds to site-specific characteristics, enhanced public realm and appropriate building height considerations.

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