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Aldi Granted Planning Permission Following Request For Further Information

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Aldi have been granted planning permission to develop a new store at a section of the Old Pottery site in Carrigaline. Cork County Council requested further information from the applicant in February of this year, and a final decision on the application was made on May 17th.

According to a statement from the retail chain, attached with the initial permission, the new store will see a "substantial investment of €10M into the local area. The store will be centrally located on Main Street, Carrigaline, on the site of the old Carrigaline Pottery, which closed in 1979 after more than 50 years in business."

Construction of the proposed store will result in up to 60 jobs being created during the build. Featuring Aldi’s award-winning Project Fresh layout, the 1,315sqm store will be powered by 100% green electricity and will feature 52 Photovoltaic solar panels located on the roof. In addition, Carrigaline shoppers will also benefit from four electric vehicle charging points at the new store along with 12 bicycle rack stands.

In addition to this however, the proposed development, now granted, will also see the provision of 119 car parking spaces, 30 of which will be provided for public use. A café also forms parts of the plans, with it expected that an occupier will be ready to fill this space upon the opening of the store, unlike the situation in Douglas where the new Aldi located at the former Cinema has yet to find a tenant.

The site has become a major investment opportunity to the landowner given that the soon to be opened Western Relief Road will help to unlock a new section of Carrigaline. An overall masterplan accompanied the planning application in December, but this is non-committal and has no bearing on the decision to grant permission for the store itself.

As part of the initial decision from the case planner, a request for further information was sought, with additional clarity required over the provision of a pedestrian street that runs ‘parallel’ to Main Street Carrigaline, more information around the proposed creation of pedestrian and cyclist routes, and matters relating to the protection of the local environment.

The case planner also indicated that while policy objectives relating to the overall site within the masterplan context requires the provision of significant community uses, such as an area for markets/festivals, they indicated the boundary of this application is drawn in a way whereby the provision of these spaces for such uses is deemed unsuitable.

Therefore, the Council have agreed that as part of the proposal for a new store and café, proposed areas for seating and public space while “more incidental to the retail and café function”, are deemed acceptable.

Following the submission of further information by the applicant, the case planner, along with other departments within the Council, were satisfied that the new information for the proposed developed was in accordance with proper “planning and development”.

A total of 47 conditions were attached to the application. Of note, one condition imposed requires the applicant to provide pedestrian and cyclist path connectivity with Main Street and the Western Relief Road prior to the opening of the store, which Aldi have said will be most likely in 2024.

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