Lidl overcomes opposition to win new store go-ahead

Lidl is spending €100m a year on new stores

Gordon Deegan

German discount retail giant Lidl has overcome opposition from independent retailers' body RGDATA to secure planning for a new store at Greystones in Co Wicklow.

This follows An Bord Pleanála granting Lidl the go-ahead for the store in spite of opposition from RGDATA, local school Temple Caraig and Councillor Derek Mitchell (FG).

The decision by An Bord Pleanála followed Lidl opening its 150th store here last month with new stores at Glenageary in Dublin and Virginia in Co Cavan.

Now employing 4,200 here, Lidl is currently spending €100m a year in its expansion plan. In Kantar Worldpanel's most recent survey, Lidl increased its share of the market by 4.3pc to 11.1pc.

A spokeswoman for Lidl said yesterday that the company was "delighted" with the grant of permission.

She said the new store would replace the existing Lidl store on site at Greystones.

She said that Lidl currently had a number of stores under construction - the firm's second store in Tralee was under construction and would open next month.

She said that a rebuild was under way in Churchfield in Cork with the revamped store to also open next month.

She added that stores for Cabra and Portmarnock were also under construction.

The green light for the Greystones store comes against the background of Tesco frustrating Lidl's expansion plans elsewhere in Ireland. Later this month, An Bord Pleanála is to give a decision on Lidl's plans for a new store at Edenderry in Co Offaly.

The application is before the board after Tesco appealed the local authority decision.

In its appeal against the Edenderry plan, Tesco stated that the design and layout of the proposed development would not improve the visual appearance of the site.

However, in reply, Lidl stated that Tesco should be considered 'a serial objector'.

In its rebuttal letter to the board on Tesco's grounds of appeal, Lidl stated that having objected to numerous retail proposals by Lidl Ireland, it would appear that many of Tesco's grounds of appeal were generally not upheld, often merely delaying planning permission.

A spokeswoman for Tesco has stated that "Tesco Ireland only ever raises planning objections where there is a legitimate planning ground or precedent to justify the objection".

A decision is due on January 23.