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Lidl Have Just Two Weeks to Save Carrigaline Planning Application

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Lidl Ireland GmbH have just two weeks to submit further information to Cork County Council or else their application for a new store in Carrigaline will be withdrawn by the Local Authority.

The retailer, in July of last year, applied for planning permission, proposing the demolition of their current building on Strand Road and the development of a new store on the Circus Field site, adjacent to their existing location.

The principle of development is thought to be favoured generally by Cork County Council, after Councillors in early 2021 agreed to an exchange of lands between the local authority and Lidl, which would see the former acquire the land currently occupied by Lidl and the latter taking charge of a portion of the Circus Field site. The logic behind this is that a public carpark could then be developed on the current Lidl site, subsequently leading to the redesign of the Owenabue carpark, which would be turned into a public realm area.

However, the application hit a snag in September last year when the Planning Department requested further information from the applicant before any decision could be made. The applicant requested an extension to this request in March and now have until June 16th to submit the necessary information. At the time of writing Lidl have not yet complied with the Council and the application faces being withdrawn.

As part of the reasoning behind the request for additional information, the case planner notably argued that the proposed development for the new Lidl store represented an “under-utilisation of an important town centre site, fails to have regard to the Retail Planning Guidelines Design Manual, the Carrigaline Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan 2021 and is contrary to the zoning objective and the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

Thus, the planner requested a revised scheme for the development, whilst also indicating that a reduction in car parking spaces from the original 139, be decreased to 124 as per parking standards.

A number of concerns had been raised as part of the submission process relating to the intensification of traffic and congestion that would result from the development of the site. The case planner, recognising this, sought an updated Traffic Impact Report from the applicant, as the data submitted as part of the application was gathered in 2018. The planner felt that between 2018 and the time of the application, both Carrigaline and Crosshaven had seen “considerable development”, resulting in additional traffic, and therefore a revised report was required.

Other requirements to be met before the 16th June includes; a revised Road Safety Audit and Flood Risk Assessment. Further details can be found under the planning section on Cork County Council’s website.

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