Trading as normal, Belgard Inn says, despite Lidl plans
By Mary Dennehy
THE BELGARD Inn has this week moved to reassure staff and customers that it is trading as normal, despite a planning application lodged by Lidl to demolish the 42-year-old watering hole.
As reported in The Echo last week, Lidl Ireland has revised planning permission granted by South Dublin County Council for a new discount store on land beside the Belgard Inn – lodging a new planning application which now seeks the demolition of the Belgard Inn to pave the way for a new, bigger ‘concept’ store, plaza and retail/café building.
Lidl was granted permission for a new store beside the Belgard Inn in 2014, after the German discount giant bought the land, including the pub and bookies, for around €2.6 million.
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 capacity as landlord, leasing both establishments to the current management.
However, Lidl Ireland told The Echo that it is reviewing and revising all of its current planning applications and permissions in light of its new concept stores – which are bigger in design and, to date, involve the development of retail units and cafés.
Gerry Crawford, General Manager of the Belgard Inn, told The Echo: “It’s business as usual for the Belgard as Lidl goes through the planning process.
“We are still taking bookings for our function room and all bookings already made still stand.”
He added: “Over the past few days we have been reassuring our customers and more than 20 staff members that the pub, lounge, off-licence and function room are continuing to function as normal – and, like we have done over the past 42 years, we are continuing to serve the local community.
“A number of customers have expressed disappointment in recent days that the Belgard Inn might close down, but we have to let the planning process take its course.”
The planning process could take up to 12 months if the council’s decision, which has to be made by May 18, is appealed to An Bord Pleanála.