Lidl denied permission for new Carrick-on-Shannon store

Chairwoman of Leitrim County Council says rejection a victory for ‘people power’

Lidl  had proposed closing its current store at Cortober on the Roscommon side of Carrick-on-Shannon,  and developing a two-storey outlet on a greenfield site close to a retail park on the Dublin side

Lidl had proposed closing its current store at Cortober on the Roscommon side of Carrick-on-Shannon, and developing a two-storey outlet on a greenfield site close to a retail park on the Dublin side

 

The chairwoman of Leitrim County Council has described the rejection of planning permission for a new Lidl store in Carrick-on-Shannon as a victory for “people power”.

The retailer had proposed closing its current store at Cortober on the Roscommon side of the town and developing a two-storey outlet on a greenfield site close to a retail park on the Dublin side.

Leitrim County Council received 129 submissions in relation to the planning application, with 125 of them opposing it.

In a registered letter to parties in the case, the council attributed its decision to the increase in retail space involved and the previous refusal of planning permission for the development by An Bord Pleanála last December.

It also refers to the absence of a robust and comprehensive proposal for an alternative use of the existing store in Cortober “which would ensure that no planning blight would occur at this location”.

Lidl is entitled to appeal the decision, which a company spokeswoman described as disappointing. “We will assess our options with regards to next steps,” she said.

Council cathaoirleach Fionla Armstrong McGuire (Fine Gael) said she believed the planners were taken aback at the scale of the opposition in Carrick-on-Shannon to the development.

She said the over-concentration of retail outlets on the Dublin side of town, where Aldi and Tesco outlets are also located, would have had a negative impact on the town centre. “I think planning officials have listened to the people.”

‘Garish carbuncle’

Among the concerns raised by local businesses and residents were potential flooding risks, and also the risk of further traffic congestion. Some said the proposed development would jar with the attractive tree-lined approach to the town on the N4.

Local businessman Gerry Faughnan described it as a “garish carbuncle”, while hotelier Joe Dolan said the town did not need a “blue and yellow biscuit tin-like building” intruding on the approach to it.

Roscommon County Council also objected, saying its decision to grant planning permission for a change of use of the Cortober store, which is across the county boundary, to a car showroom and gym “should in no way be taken as an endorsement” of the proposal to close the existing store.