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Tesco has blocked Lidl's multimillion-euro plan to expand one of its Limerick stores

An Bord Pleanála agreed the scale of the project would ‘significantly exceed’ local planning caps.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

TESCO HAS SUCCESSFULLY blocked Lidl from expanding a store on the edge of Limerick City.

The German discount supermarket received planning permission last July to demolish its existing store on Childers Road, south of the River Shannon, and replace it with a larger outlet.

However, An Bord Pleanála has since overturned decisions by the local city and county councils to give the project the green light following an appeal from Tesco Ireland, which is the anchor tenant of the nearby Roxboro Shopping Centre.

The British retailer’s Irish unit complained that Lidl’s revamped store would consist of 1,250 sq m of shop space, an “excessive breach” of a local planning rule that prohibits retail use in excess of 400 sq m for out-of-town centre developments.

Decision

The national planning board sided with Tesco on this issue and refused permission on the grounds that Lidl’s expanded store would “significantly exceed” the cap on retail space.

An Bord Pleanála also decided to block the development on the grounds that its new, larger signage “would seriously detract from the visual amenities of the area”.

This was following a report prepared by the planning inspector, Michael Dillon, who described Lidl’s proposal to put three new signs on the site as “excessive”.

A spokeswoman for Lidl told Fora that the company is “disappointed” with An Bord Pleanála’s decision.

“The local community were very supportive and behind the redevelopment project from the start but unfortunately, due to a sole objection from Tesco Ireland, the multimillion-euro investment in the local area and the creation of additional local jobs will now be put on hold,” she said through a statement.

It was previously reported by the Limerick Leader that Lidl planned to spend €4 million expanding its Childers Road outlet, which has been open for nearly two decades. It was hoped that some 28 people would be employed during the construction phase.

Separately, a recent Irish Times report revealed that Tesco and other rivals have in recent years objected to a series of planning applications submitted by Aldi, another German discount chain.

Tesco alone objected to 16 proposed Aldi developments over the last four years, almost half of which were refused, the newspaper found.

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Written by Conor McMahon and posted on Fora.ie

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