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Lidl’s expansion plan for Ennis overturned

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A decision by Clare County Council to grant Lidl planning permission to build a second store in Ennis has been overturned by An Bord Pleanála.

Representative body for independent retailers, RGDATA appealed the decision by the local authority. They claimed it was an inappropriate large-scale development in an out-of-town location and a significant threat to the vitality and viability of the town centre.

According to An Bord Pleanála, the scale of the “neighbourhood centre” development located between the Clare Rd and Toberteascáin was too much and would damage the vitality of Ennis town centre.

Environmental and flooding concerns were also highlighted by the planning authority. They also maintained a location closer to Ennis town centre was available for the scale of the proposed retail development.

As part of their plans for the 3721 square metre site, the German discount store had intended to construct a neighbourhood centre at the Clare Rd which would include a foodstore and off-license, two retail and office units within a three storey building, childcare unit, public playground and public realm. Three residential units, an office block and ancillary buildings had been earmarked for demolition. The County Council had given conditional planning for the Lidl store to be opened from 8am to 10pm seven days a week.

Expansion plans for Lidl in Knockacarra (Galway) and Douglas (Cork) have recently been refused, making this their negative planning application is as many months. Lidl already has a Ennis store, located on the Gort Rd.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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