Tuesday 6 December 2016

Tesco planning appeals halt expansion moves by supermarket rivals

Gordon Deegan

Published 18/06/2016 | 02:30

Earlier this year Tesco successfully opposed plans at Bord Pleanála against Aldi developing a store at Ardee, Co Louth. Photo: PA
Earlier this year Tesco successfully opposed plans at Bord Pleanála against Aldi developing a store at Ardee, Co Louth. Photo: PA

Tesco Ireland Ltd has lodged two planning appeals to An Bord Pleanála in recent days against decisions by local authorities giving Aldi the go-ahead for a new store at Leixlip, Co Kildare, and Lidl for a new store in Drogheda, Co Louth.

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Earlier this year Tesco successfully opposed plans at Bord Pleanála against Aldi developing a store at Ardee, Co Louth.

Figures obtained from An Bord Pleanla show that in 2015 and 2014, Tesco enjoyed mixed success when opposing the expansion of discount stores in the planning arena.

The figures show that in relation to six appeals lodged by Tesco against discount stores, it was successful on four occasions when planning was refused in Cork city, Malahide in Dublin, Bailleborough, Co Cavan, and Kildare town. The retailer's practice of opposing proposed new Aldi and Lidl stores in towns and cities where is has a presence comes against the background of rapid growth of the two German retailers in the €10bn Irish grocery market.

The latest figures from market research company Kantar Worldpanel show that their combined market share climbed to 22.3pc for the 12 weeks ended May 22nd last.

This puts the discounters' combined market share ahead of Dunnes Stores' 21.4pc and roughly equal to Tesco's 22.4pc and SuperValu's 22.7pc.

Over the past three years, Aldi and Lidl's market share has grown by 7pc at a cost to the larger players in the business.

Last year, Aldi announced the creation of 400 jobs here as it aimed to open its 129th store this year.

In its 30-page appeal against the Leixlip store, Tesco's consultants argue that the proposed development is not in keeping with the adjoining lands in the Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) "and that the proposed development should be revised as to ensure consistency with the surrounding developments".

The appeals also claims that the proposal for Leixlip's Pound Street fails to meet development standards outlined in the statutory plans and is also at odds with the surrounding developments in the area.

The plan claims that the proposal, if built, "could affect the character of Leixlip and also lead to the creation of traffic conflicts at the location".

Kildare County Council ruled that the proposal would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and that all traffic issues associated with the development had been resolved.

In planning documents, Aldi pointed out that "overall, the building is of high quality design... and fits into its current urban design and built environment and will represent a very significant improvement of the site and surrounding area".

In relation to Lidl's Drogheda plan, Tesco in its appeal claims that the proposal is not located in a designated retail centre and as such has the potential to negatively impact on a nearby developing designated centre.

A spokeswoman for Tesco would only say yesterday: "We review all planning applications on a case by case basis."

Decisions are due to be made on the appeals in October.

Irish Independent

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