People in North Clare will have to wait until next year to find out if controversial plans to knock Ennistymon Mart and build an Aldi supermarket will be allowed.
An Bord Pleanála had been expected to decide earlier this week whether or not to permit the proposed demolition of existing buildings on the site and the construction of a single-storey discount foodstore, including off-licence and a carpark with in the region of 80 spaces. However, a decision on the future of the site will not be made until next month.
The proposed project was given the go-ahead by Clare County Council earlier in the year, subject to 21 conditions, but this was appealed by three separate parties, Save Ennistymon Mart Committee, local residents and former Mayor of Clare, Flan Garvey.
An Bord Pleanála held a lively oral hearing on the proposed development in November, at which all three parties were represented along with Clare County Council and Aldi Stores (Ireland) Ltd.
Farmers pleaded with An Bord Pleanála to overturn the planning permission granted because they say there is a children’s burial ground on the grounds of the mart car park.
Objectors to the proposed supermarket raised concerns over a right of way, which was disputed by representatives of Aldi, traffic management, technical issues surrounding proposed retaining walls and possible impacts on the architectural heritage of the town. The date on which a traffic survey was conducted was also criticised.
Farmers also objected to demolishing the mart, saying it would “close off one more avenue of interaction for people”.
Residents living close to the mart described it as “a good neighbour”. One man whose home is neighbouring the site called for a change in the planning process to allow greater communication with people affected by decisions.
It was confirmed this week that a decision will not now be made on the proposed development until mid-January at the earliest.