Lidl gets go-ahead for Castleknock project despite local opposition

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar among those who object to planned €15m development

An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead to Lidl for a €15m   development at Castleknock in west Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead to Lidl for a €15m development at Castleknock in west Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead to Lidl for a €15 million commercial development at Castleknock in west Dublin, despite opposition to the plans from local residents and politicians, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The mixed-use development will be anchored by a new Lidl supermarket.

The plans, which also include a medical centre, several smaller shops and eight apartments, were opposed by Mr Varadkar and former tánaiste Joan Burton.

Alan Barry, director of property at Lidl Ireland, said he was pleased the planners had recognised that the scheme would contribute positively to the local area.

“Together with our architects and planners, we have designed a development to the highest standards, which I believe complements the area and provides suitable amenities for the local community.”

Lidl, whose 151st Irish store opens in Cabra in Dublin this week, said it will hold a town hall-style meeting for the local community before any construction works begin.

Mr Varadkar told an An Bord Pleanála oral hearing on the project that the proposal was at odds with the surrounding area.

“I don’t think this adds to the appearance of the village in what is, after all, a historic village and architectural conservation area,” he said.

Mr Varadkar also raised the prospect of “serious congestion” on the surrounding road network if the project went ahead.

In 2014, Fingal County Council refused permission for the development as it considered it to be inconsistent with the Castleknock urban centre strategy.

‘Disappointing decision’

Fine Gael councillor Ted Leddy, who has campaigned against the development, said he was “very disappointed” by the decision.

“As I have said many times, this is not just a Castleknock village issue. It is a wider Dublin 15 issue.

“Everyone in Dublin 15 who wishes to drive into the city centre has to drive either down the Navan Road or through Castleknock village. This decision by An Bord Pleanála places a major commercial development at the choke point of one of those routes,” said Mr Leddy.

“As the economy continues to grow, congestion is going to be an increasingly serious problem. Congestion is not just an irritation. It is a major factor in our quality of life as we juggle work-life balance.

“In the absence of a major infrastructural project, Dublin 15 is in danger of grinding to a halt. At this stage, a judicial review cannot be ruled out,” he said.