Aldi blames planners for distribution centre delay
GERMAN retail giant Aldi has postponed opening a new €100m regional distribution centre for two years, blaming the planning process.
The project -- unveiled amid fanfare by Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin in May last year -- had promised 160 jobs for Mitchelstown in north Cork.
These, however, will now be put on hold after it emerged that the centre is expected to be mothballed once construction work, which is already at an advanced stage, is fully complete.
The complex was an integral part of Aldi's overall €350m expansion drive, which aimed to create 1,000 jobs and open 35 new stores in Ireland by 2011.
However, Aldi has now confirmed that the giant Mitchelstown complex will not open before 2013.
In a statement, the German retail giant blamed the planning process for delays that ultimately affected the sprawling distribution centre.
"Aldi Stores confirms that the opening of its new regional distribution centre in Mitchelstown has been delayed until 2013," the firm said.
"It has been necessary for Aldi to postpone the opening due to ongoing difficulties experienced in the planning process, which has resulted in fewer Aldi stores being opened in 2010 than originally planned.
"Aldi is continuing to seek planning permission across the country to support its expansion programme.
Lack of planning
"The lack of planning permissions for the new stores is the only factor contributing to the delay in opening the new regional distribution centre."
Mitchelstown Business Association chairman Eamon O'Brien said the postponement was a blow for the entire area.
"It is a major disappointment," he said, as he urged that every effort now be made to resolve the planning issues involved.