Go-ahead for Lidl in Douglas ‘better than having vacant site’

Go-ahead for Lidl in Douglas ‘better than having vacant site’
A computer-generated image of the planed new Lidl store in Douglas.

The granting of planning permission by Cork County Council for a new Lidl in Douglas is better than leaving the site derelict despite local opposition, according to a local councillor.

The Lidl will be located in Barry's Field off the Carrigaline Road and will include a car park.

Fine Gael Cllr Deirdre Forde has said while she would have preferred the site to be used for the community, the development will prove a positive for Douglas village.

“My ideal scenario is that it would have been bought for the community but failing that, and looking at the direction and sites that haven't been developed around the place, I think what is proposed will enhance rather than degenerate the village of Douglas,” Ms Forde said.

“The bottom line is that we want jobs in Douglas Village, we want it to be vibrant economically and we also want it to be a nice place to do business in. While there are a lot of things that I think Council should be doing in Douglas, I do feel having met the Lidl applicants, what they propose to deliver would be better than having a vacant site and no jobs,” Ms Forde added.

The plan has been met with fierce criticism by the Green Party and the local Tidy Towns group. Planning involves development contributions of €300,000 for traffic measurements and an upgrade to the Fingerpost roundabout.

Green Party representative Justin Fleming, from Douglas, said the village was becoming “unattractive” due to inappropriate developments.

“The congestion is appalling. It’s frustrating and stressful to be stuck in constant traffic jams. Even the buses get stuck in them so there’s little incentive to take the bus. And when you eventually make it through the traffic you find yourself in a place that’s suffocated with noise and emissions.

“The last thing we need is another car park, especially in the village centre. What Douglas needs is a holistic redesign of the roads and streets to free the buses from ordinary traffic lanes and make cycling safe enough that people of all ages would opt to cycle past the traffic jams.”

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