Business

Saturday 20 October 2018

Tesco and Lidl size up sites in Dublin

Fearghal O'Connor

Grocery retailers have moved to advance multimillion developments at sites on Dublin's northside in recent days, despite an uncertain retail environment.

Tesco and Lidl have both sought permission to add more retail space in the city, although neither development is a certainty.

Tesco is looking to add a major extension to its store in Artane, while Lidl is hoping to build a brand new store in Drumcondra that has previously fallen foul of the planning authorities.

The Lidl plan is for a 3,200 sq m store between the new DCU campus and the Skylon Hotel on the site of an existing car repairs garage and creche that both would be demolished.

In January An Bord Pleanala overturned a decision by the local authority to grant planning permission for the new Drumcondra Lidl store, after a number of local businesses and residents challenged the decision on the basis of its size and location.

But the City Council has now extended the duration of the original planning permission out to April 2023.

Tesco and Lidl have both sought permission to add more retail space in the city, although neither development is a certainty.
Tesco and Lidl have both sought permission to add more retail space in the city, although neither development is a certainty.

The store, if built, would be three storeys and include a restaurant and off-licence. Objectors previously argued the area contains an abundance of such outlets, including a nearby Tesco store.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Tesco confirmed that its application for an extension of duration of the permission it had previously received for a 1,000 sq m expansion at Artane Shopping Centre has been granted.

"We are now assessing our plans and as such a development start date has yet to be confirmed," she said. "Our new €30m retail centre at Liffey Valley - Tesco's 151st store in Ireland - is scheduled to open on Monday May 28. 2018."

Tesco has previously indicated that proposed new developments halted by the economic downturn could now restart because of the improved economy.

It is already seeking to reheat abandoned plans for a major new store in Wicklow because of the upturn in the retail market. The British multiple has said previously that it planned to invest €70m in stores across the country during 2018.

Figures last month from industry lobby group Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) show that although the overall economy continues to improve, like-for-like sales were down 1.2pc in March. Bad weather was seen as a factor.

Sunday Indo Business

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