PLANS for the development of a new Killaloe store, which could, it is claimed, generate a projected turnover of €9.12 million in 2019, has been approved by An Bord Pleanála, despite objections from local traders.
Welcoming the decision, an Aldi spokesperson said the company believes competition is good for consumers. “Aldi will now move forward with our plans to open a new store in Killaloe, bringing our range of award-winning products at unbeatable prices to the local community.
“The opening of every new Aldi store has brought greater choice, quality and value to more and more consumers across Ireland. Since 1999, we have invested €1.2 billion in our store opening programme and, last year, we spent over €700m with Irish suppliers,” the spokesperson continued. “Aldi are engaged in a three-year €100m expansion programme, with plans to open 20 new stores and creating 400 new jobs by the end of 2019.”
This was the second time the German multinational submitted plans to Clare County Council to build a store in Killaloe.
The first planning application was approved by the local authority but was refused by An Bord Pleanála on a number of grounds in February 2016.
The company got the go-ahead from the council again last summer but had to put its plans on hold after an appeal was lodged by local traders.
According to a Retail Impact Statement (RIS) submitted by John Spain Associates Planning and Development Consultants, the available convenience expenditure in the catchment area of the proposed development is €38,778,336, which includes €9.12 in turnover from the Aldi development.
In a submission to the local planning authority, Bill and Maureen Kenny, c/o Heany’s Costcutter, The Green, Killaloe stated the proposed development is no different from the one rejected by the appeals’ board and argued that 87 car parking spaces is not enough for such a largescale foodstore. They also claimed it is too large an outlet for the site.
The traffic impact report submitted on behalf of Aldi acknowledges the morning peak was not considered within the traffic surveys, as the proposed food store will not open until 9am.
The board ruled the development is acceptable, subject to 19 planning conditions, having regard to the planning history of the site and the provisions of the Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023. It ruled the proposed development would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the existing town core retail area and would not be visually intrusive or seriously injure the integrity and character of the protected structures of the deanery, St Flannan’s Cathedral and Belfry and Abbey House. It also ruled it would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience, would not be prejudicial to public health and would not seriously injure the residential amenities of adjoining properties.
The board adopted the screening carried out by the inspector and was satisfied that the development, either individually or in combination with other plans, would not be likely to have a significant effect on any European site, in view of the conservation objectives of those sites.
It requested that a revised site layout plan be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority, illustrating the detail of a lime mortared masonry wall along the entire boundary of the site adjoining the deanery. Another condition stipulates that Aldi has to facilitate the archaeological appraisal of the site.
By Dan Danaher