Lidl Ireland GmbH have taken the decision to appeal their own grant of permission for a new store in Carrigaline in an effort to avoid paying costs associated with a new Public Town Car Park and upgrading of a section of the Crosshaven Road.
Just a few weeks ago the supermarket giant had been awarded planning permission by Cork County Council for a new store in Carrigaline, to be located in the Circus Field, and involved the demolition of the current store and development of a Public Town Car Park. As part of conditions imposed by the Council, Lidl would be responsible for costs associated with the construction of the new car park, as well as necessary upgrading of a section of the Crosshaven Road and roundabout.
The application first originated in 2021, with Cork County Council requesting further information from the applicant before adjudicating on the case. Lidl then applied for an extension before submitting information, eventually supplying information in August of this year, over 12 months after the initial application was submitted.
The application has wider implications for Carrigaline with regards to future provision of parking and the facilitation of public realm works to take place in the Owenabue carpark. Aware that Lidl were seeking to pursue an application for a new store, the Council and county councillors agreed to an exchange of lands whereby Lidl would be permitted to build on the Circus Field if Cork County Council could then become the owners of the site where Lidl are currently located on Strand Road, on which a new town car park would be built.
However, despite this exchange of lands going through and the planning application receiving a subsequent grant, Lidl have taken the decision to appeal to An Bord Pleanála in an attempt to remove conditions requiring the retailer, whose turnover was in excess of €2billion in Ireland in 2020, to pay for costs associated with the development of the Public Town Car Park and upgrading to the Crosshaven Road and roundabout.
The decision taken by Lidl is likely to draw criticism locally considering that their application for a new store has been facilitated by the Council and required an exchange of a popular site, known affectionately as the “Circus Field” due to the annual arrival of Fossetts Circus. Moreover, given the tumultuous times that An Bord Pleanala are experiencing, severe delays on decisions has resulted, with backlogs reportedly hitting a minimum of 10 months. As a result, this potentially poses a risk to the provision of public realm enhancement works in the Owenabue carpark.
A further appeal has also been taken by a third party, who comprise of local residents.