Lidl gets green light for store at old AO Smith site
LIDL Ireland have been granted planning permission to build in Bray on the former AO Smith site, 12 years after its closure.
The permission was granted by Wicklow County Council last week.
According to the planners report, the expected turnover of the supermarket is €9.8 million per year.
The application is for a supermarket, office space and parking, with the demolition of the existing industrial premises.
Planners advised Lidl in March 2016 that while a discount food store on the site would be acceptable in terms of zoning objectives, proposals for retail warehousing, cinema, service station and drive through restaurant would not be.
The development of the food store will include the construction of an access from the Killarney Road and a link to the existing neighbourhood centre on the Boghall Road.
A number of submissions were made to Wicklow County Council. The issues raised included traffic implications, concerns that the development may be contrary to the Bray Town Plan, the generation of sufficient employment, and the potential to negatively impact the existing neighbourhood centre.
In response to a submission that the lands should be used for housing, planners said that this would not comply with zoning objectives and that Bray has lands zoned for housing.
An electric motors manufacturing plant, AO Smith was in business in Bray for 29 years and 140 jobs were lost when it closed in 2005.
There have been complaints of anti-social activity at the site in the intervening years, included a fire in 2014.