Lidl ‘Belgard’ store plans turned down

By Mary Dennehy

LIDL Ireland has been refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for its new concept store on the site of the Belgard Inn pub.

In 2014, South Dublin County Council granted permission to Lidl Ireland for a new store on the Belgard Inn’s overflow carpark, after the German discount supermarket purchased the land, including the pub and bookies, for an estimated €2.6 million.

Belgard Inn and Lidl 18022017

As part of the original planning permission granted it was to be business as usual for the landmark pub and bookies, with Lidl, in its new capacity as landlord, leasing both establishments to the current management.

However, in March of last year, Lidl revised its planning permission and lodged a new application for the site – which included demolishing the 44-year-old Belgard Inn, which is currently trading as normal and taking party bookings.

At the time, a spokeswoman for Lidl Ireland said that in light of the company’s new concept stores, which are bigger in size and involve a new design, that all planning applications and permissions were being reviewed and where possible revised.

Last September, South Dublin County Council granted permission to the German discount chain for its revised concept store in Belgard, which was to be the company’s sixth Tallaght store.

However, the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which overturned the council’s decision and refused permission this week for the development.

In its report, the board said that in relation to the ‘Local Centres’ policies and objectives of the South Dublin County Development Plan 2016–2022, the proposed development would not provide an “appropriate mix, range and type of uses to serve the requirement of the local catchment area” – with the proposed development “seriously” injuring the residential amenities of the area.

The board also stated that the proposed development by “reason of its standardised design approach fails to provide a satisfactory level of urban street presence”.

The development was described by the Board as presenting “a poor quality of urban design at this designated urban centre which requires a more robust and defined built form”.

When contacted by The Echo after the ruling, a spokeswoman for Lidl Ireland said: “Naturally we are disappointed with the decision from An Bord Pleanála with regards to our development on the Belgard Road.

“We will now access our options with regards to the site.”

The Echo also spoke with Gerry Crawford of the Belgard Inn who stressed that the pub, which employs 24 full- and part-time staff, is open and continuing to trade as normal – and is taking bookings for parties and events.

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