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Say the new Lidl won’t compete with Ennis town centre

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A €20m development proposed by Lidl Ireland will “not compete” with businesses in Ennis town centre, developers say.

More information on the plans has been submitted to Clare County Council in response to a number of concerns raised about the proposed development, including its potential “adverse impact” on the town centre.

Retail trade group the Retail Food Dairy and Allied Trade Association and local business owners also voiced concerns about the plans.

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Lidl is applying for planning permission to develop a new store and mixed-use development at the junction of Clare Road (R458) and Toberteascain Road.

If permission is granted, the development will include 20 residential units, a cafe and two commercial units.

The supermarket giant said the development would create 30 local jobs and a further 100 during construction if planning permission is granted.

Among the concerns raised by the local authority was the potential cumulative impact of the proposed development with Aldi’s commercial development on Kilrush Road, which is currently awaiting a decision from An Bord Pleanála.

The report, which was responded to a request for more information by planning and environmental consultants MKO on behalf of Lidl’s developers, said both developments were on sites specifically identified in the county’s development plan to provide “Neighbourhood Centres”, meaning small anchor retail stores. additional/auxiliary neighborhood uses.

“In designating sites for this purpose as part of the strategic planning function, the planning authority has taken into account the provisions of the Retail Planning Guide and, given the nature and scale of the retail trade provided, will not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

The report states: “The uses proposed as part of this planning application are not in competition with the town center as the retail activity of the town center is a superior comparable retail location for the county.”

It continues: “The proposed development will have no impact on Ennis Town Center due to the priority of the proposed land use, which is an amenity retail development, taken together with the proposed development on Kilrush Road.”

A masterplan has been submitted with an application which will identify future uses for the wider site.

According to the developers, these uses are tentative and not a final development proposal.

The type of retail trade identified in master plan areas is ‘bulk retail’, usually large household goods and white goods.

According to the MKO report, “Major goods retail does not compete with the city center for shoppers, given the other retail functions of the city center and any proposed bulk retail.

“Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the provision of large retail in the wider masterplan will have no significant impact on the vitality and viability of Ennis Town Centre.

Responding to concerns raised about the design and massing of the buildings, the report states that the design approach was adopted to “try to deconstruct the mass and bulk of the buildings and create creatively engaging public areas and pedestrian connections between buildings of high quality.” a development that appeals to pedestrians in particular”.

Changes have been made to the original design, including a grocer’s roof, the size of the glazed area in the retail block with apartments above, and the creation of a “more engaging public space with seating” at the base of the proposed café.

The Additional Information Response confirms that all recommendations contained in the Road Safety Audit have been accepted and incorporated into the revised site plan.

Also, revised site layout documents included in the response to additional information include: traffic and traffic assessment, revised plant and site and public lighting drawings, revised solar/daylight calculation, traffic and traffic assessment, revised architectural and landscape drawings and construction and environmental management plan.

It concludes: “The proposed development is consistent with national, regional and local planning policy, as well as sound neighborhood planning and sustainable development, and is considered to be a welcome addition and enhancement to the local area. current terms of the site”.

Retail Dairy and Allied Trade Association RGDATA has opposed the plans. It stated that “particularly in relation to the planning implications of such a large-scale retail development in an ‘out-of-town’ location on the outskirts of Ennis”.

Paul and Kay Ryan, from Ryan Centre, said the plans would “detriment” small retail premises along Limerick Road and create a “counter-attraction” to existing services in the city centre.

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