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Lidl plan for Westside rejected by planners for second time


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Lidl plan for Westside rejected by planners for second time

From the Galway City Tribune – A second attempt by German retail giant Lidl to build a new supermarket on the site of the former Arch Motors in the Westside has failed.

An Bord Pleanála has ruled the plans would be contrary to the land zoning of the site – where a specific objective is in place that it can only be used for bulky goods and local retailing needs.

And the HSE said it had concerns about the potential impact of the development on air ambulance activities at the nearby helipad.

Last September, Lidl applied for permission to build a “local retailing supermarket” with off licence and a single retail unit on the site of Arch Motors.

Refusing permission, the Council said that under the current City Development Plan, the site has a specific development objective “to consider only bulky goods retailing and local retailing needs” and there is no exception provided to allow for a foodstore there.

That decision was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála which ruled last week that the land zoning does not allow for a foodstore at that location and noted that such a use at a location adjacent to the Westside District Centre would be contrary to the zoning objective for the area.

The HSE said that while a “suite of assessments” had been submitted by Lidl intended to address issues raised in the original planning application about the operation of the air ambulance service, its concerns remained.

“[The HSE] retains concerns in relation to the potential impacts arising from development occurring in immediate proximity to the location of ongoing and future air ambulance activities.

“These concerns also relate to the potential for future regulatory or operational constraints that may impact existing or proposed air ambulance activities which could be triggered or exacerbated by the presence of the proposed development,” the submission reads.

It added that UHG provides 24/7 acute surgery, acute medicine and critical care to the West of Ireland and covers a region from Donegal to Galway, with a population in excess of 800,000.

In 2020, An Bord Pleanála (ABP) turned down an almost identical planning application on the site because of the land zoning.

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