SITE preparations works are underway for the development of a new multi-million Euro food discount store in South-East Clare following a recent An Bord Pleanála ruling.
Work has begun with the construction of a major new Lidl store at Westbury with workers clearing and excavating the ground for the pouring of foundations.
The project was given the green light by An Bord Pleanála in July, after it sent to the planning appeals authority following a number of submissions to Clare County Council.
The store will be located across from the Westbury estate, which is the largest in the county, with almost 1,000 homes and a sizeable population, while the site is on one of the busiest arteries into Limerick City.
Welcoming this development, Deputy Cathal Crowe said it is fantastic to see that the shovel has broken the ground on this long-awaited development.
“One of the key things I worked on during this process was the guarantee that road improvement works would also be carried out on what is already one of the busiest roadways into Limerick City.
“Works have begun up at Larkin’s Cross, where improvement works are to be carried out on the junction and traffic lights and pedestrian crossings will be installed.
“Immediately after that, they will move down to the entrance to the Westbury estate and carry out the works there to get the store built.
“With the road improvement works taking place to alleviate traffic pressure, I am confident this will be a positive development and will increase the retail offering for South-East Clare.
“For the thousands of commuters to travel along that road for work and the school run and so on, it’ll be a huge sigh of relief to see some of those issues being tackle simultaneously.”
Lidl was given the green light to construct a new discount retail outlet, coffee shop and car park in a major new development, subject to 16 new planning conditions.
The supermarket discount store has estimated the new store and adjoining coffee shop could generate approximately thirty jobs in the local area.
The development also includes the provision of 87 surface car parking spaces to the front of the site.
The discount foodstore, which incorporates a sales area of 1,192 square metres, will also to accommodate a small café area, bakery, preparation area and staff ancillar spaces.
A large chiller/freezer area together with a delivery and storage area will also to be incorporated within the building.
The delivery area is to be located at the northern end of the building. The main public access is to be located at the southeastern corner of the building. A separate access is provided to the café area.
A large retail centre, The Westbury Centre, is located on lands to the immediate south of the site. This centre accommodates a bar that is currently vacant, a pharmacy, a fast-food takeaway facility, a Tesco Express and other retail units and community services.
Lands on the eastern side of the R463 directly opposite the site are exclusively occupied by residential dwellings and part of the Westbury residential estate. Lands to the north of the site are currently in agricultural use.
The site is located within the 50 kilometre speed limit associated with Limerick City.
Clare County Council has previously granted planning permission but the development was put on hold following a third-party appeal by Brickiln Limited of Rock Street, Tralee, County Kerry.