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New Aldi supermarket for Finglas blocked over interference with Luas Green Line extension

The plans would have doubled the size of the existing supermarket and reduced the number of parking spaces.

Image: Shutterstock/jax10289

PLANS BY ALDI to develop a new supermarket in Finglas have been shot down as they would interfere with a proposed 4km extension of the Luas Green Line.

Dublin City Council has refused the German supermarket group planning permission for its application to demolish its current outlet at St Margaret’s Road in Finglas and to construct a new two-storey supermarket on the same site.

The plans, which would double the size of the existing supermarket, also provided for an off-licence and for a reduction in car parking from 171 to 154 spaces.

However, the council said the proposed development failed to satisfactorily take account of the preferred route for the extension of the Luas Green Line to Finglas.

The council stated the new supermarket would compromise the delivery of the Luas Finglas project and represent a material contravention of the Dublin City Development Plan in relation to promoting strategic transport plans.

Aldi was also refused planning permission for the new supermarket due to the excessive level of car parks spaces attached to the outlet.

The council said there was no rationale or demand for such a large number of spaces.

The National Transport Authority said the Luas Finglas project, which will extend the Green Line from Broombridge to Charlestown via the Tolka Valley and Finglas Village, was at an advanced stage of design following numerous rounds of public consultation.

The NTA said Aldi’s plans did not seem to take account of the requirement to accommodate Luas tracks, cycle tracks, footpaths and motor traffic on St Margaret’s Road.

The Luas extension plans provide for a new stop on St Margaret’s Road together with a park and ride facility for 350 vehicles.

The council was also concerned that the existing number of car parking spaces at the supermarket was already over 50% in excess of permitted levels.

A council report noted that Aldi did not respond to requests to reduce the number of access points to its supermarket from St Margaret’s Road, despite concern raised by planners.

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It also made no changes to the proposed number of car park spaces, although it was informed by council officials that the existing number was already over 50% in excess of the permitted number of spaces.

The council noted there was temporary planning permission for a second access point and 58 spaces but it had expired in 2018 and they were no longer authorised.

The NTA said it was unaware of any consultation with the supermarket group about the Luas project, despite such claims by Aldi.

The NTA expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s response to its concerns.

The council said Aldi had made no amendments to its plans for the new supermarket to facilitate Luas works.

Aldi said its existing supermarket in Finglas, which was built in 2006, had outgrown its market and design and needed to be updated to meet the needs of a growing neighbourhood.

About the author:

Seán McCárthaigh

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