Delay of Passage West Aldi store ‘disappointing’

Delay of Passage West Aldi store ‘disappointing’
The former Eurospar Passage West where a planning application has been lodged for a new Aldi.

COUNTY councillors are disappointed that a planned Aldi store in Passage West will be delayed for several months, after an appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála.

Cork County Council granted permission, last month, for the store to open on the site of the former Eurospar, on the Rochestown Road. The latter closed in 2017 with the loss of 50 jobs.

Staff at the time were given just 30 days’ notice that the owners planned to sell the building.

The property was transferred to Nama, who sold it to US asset management firm, Oaktree, before Aldi sought planning permission.

The redevelopment of the site was previously delayed, with Aldi project consultants, Coakley O’Neill, having to submit revised plans to Cork County Council, earlier this year, to address how the entrance to the new store ties in with the new roundabout at the Harbour Heights housing estate and how it affects traffic flow.

This issue had been resolved, but the development is now subject to an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, as a new objection has been raised.

The nature of the objection has not yet been communicated to Cork County Council.

Councillor Marcia D’Alton (IND) said the local community is eager for the development to go ahead and is urging locals to get together and lodge submissions on why they think the store should be given the go-ahead, before the closing date on April 30.

“The board is sending out notification of the appeal to Cork County Council. When the County Council receives it, we will be able to see the nature of the appeal and why it has been taken,” she said.

“There is so much goodwill in Passage West for the success of this planning application. We can let the board know how badly this store is wanted, by making a written observation on the appeal,” she added.

Seamus McGrath (FF) had previously warned that an appeal could be lodged and has expressed his frustration that this has now happened.

“This is very disappointing news. I understand the appeal was lodged on the last day possible. Obviously, the permission granted by the council will now be reviewed.

“At the very least, this will cause a delay of several months with the development,” he said.

A decision on the appeal is due to be made public on August 7.

The proposed new Aldi store is part of a €100m investment by the German company, which could create 400 jobs in 20 stores across the country. The company employs 3,200 in Ireland.

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