Opposition to proposed Castleknock Lidl mounts

Leo Varadkar ‘disappointed’ by granting of approval for supermarket in Dublin suburb

The planning permission for the proposed Lidl supermarket in Castleknock also includes approval for a  medical centre and a number of other shops. Photograph: Mychele Daniau/AFP/Getty Images

The planning permission for the proposed Lidl supermarket in Castleknock also includes approval for a medical centre and a number of other shops. Photograph: Mychele Daniau/AFP/Getty Images

 

Opposition appears to be mounting against a proposed Lidl supermarket that has been granted planning permission in Castleknock in Dublin.

The planning permission, which was granted in September last year, includes a Lidl supermarket, medical centre and a number of other shops at the site adjacent to the flower shop in Castleknock Village.

Some 98 parking spaces are also proposed, which includes 59 parking spaces beneath the supermarket.

The application is described as a three-storey office development with an underground car park that will overlook Castleknock National School and will be accessed through a laneway beside the dental surgery in the village.

An oral healing about the development is due to take place in the coming months.

In 2014, Fingal County Council refused permission for the same development as it considered it to be be inconsistent with the Castleknock Urban Centre Strategy.

‘Disappointed’

Minister for Social Protection and TD for Dublin West Leo Varadkar has previously stated his opposition to the development. He said he was “disappointed” Fingal County Council made the decision.

“I’m disappointed by the council’s decision to grant permission for this new supermarket in Castleknock Village. It’s a pity that the council did not take into account the strong opposition among the local community to this development. I will now consult with residents to get their views. If a decision is taken to appeal this to An Bord Pleanála then I will certainly support it.”

A spokesman for the Minister added: “The planning application is for a shopping centre rather than an individual supermarket. There is very strong local opposition to it because of the impact it will have on traffic in the village and neighbouring housing estates. The area is already well catered for in terms of retail space.”

Lidl has 149 stores in the Republic of Ireland and 38 in the North. A proposed Lidl supermarket in Carrick-on-Shannon in Leitrim was recently refused permission by An Bord Pleanála.

Local Green Party councillor Roderic O’Gorman said the site of the proposed development has become the “Bermuda triangle” of planning in recent years.

“An original planning application went in for this location in 2008 for a really large five-storey development for a retailer and apartments and that was opposed by residents on several grounds – traffic, overshadowing the old village of Castleknock.It was granted planning permission but was not built, due to the recession,’’ he said.

“Lidl came back with a application about two years ago that was rejected by Fingal County Council and that was upheld by an An Bord Pleanála. Lidl has been granted permission this time around but it is being opposed by residents,’’ he said.

“The main concern is traffic. Castleknock is a small village but it has a huge amount of traffic going through it and is one of the major access points from Dublin 15 to the Dublin city. This development is going to the result in a new access point to the main junction in Castleknock village, All the traffic coming from the supermarket will be coming out on to this one junction that is already extremely congested in the morning, at school pick-up times and in the evenings,” he said.

“The traffic generated by the development is going to cause traffic chaos to ensue in Castleknock.”

Traffic

Mr O’Gorman said the opposition by local residents to the proposed Lidl supermarket is not due to snobbery.

“I wouldn’t agree with that. My view is that irrespective of what supermarket is at this location it wouldn’t be appropriate, because any supermarket built there is going to cause significant traffic for the area, be it SuperValu,Dunnes or Tesco, ” he said.

“An oral hearing will take place in the next few months and I imagine that will be well attended by local residents. The planning permission will be decided under the current Fingal development plan. We are currently voting on the new development plan and that will kick in at the end of March. New planning rules will apply to this site after March 2017. Those rules may make it less attractive for Lidl to set up on that particular site.

“The intensity of the proposed development is too much for that particular site. Some sort of residential development would be more preferable, due to the demand for housing in Dublin 15.”

A spokeswoman of Lidl said the company had designed the proposed development to “the highest standards which complements the area and provides suitable amenities for the local community”.