LIDL has submitted a planning application for a new development in Douglas.
The development will be located on a site that faces onto the roundabout on the Douglas Relief Road (R610) and is currently lying vacant and unused.
Lidl hopes to build a ‘landmark building with strong architectural finishes’ and say that alongside a Lidl store, the development would also include eight two-bed apartments, a cafe and another commercial unit.
When approved, the brand new store will create 30 new local jobs, it said.
“This is an exciting proposal from Lidl for the Douglas area which will turn an unused site into one that offers great services to the community,” Lidl’s regional director for the Munster area Conor Nagle says.
However, some councillors have expressed concerns about the development of the unused site, with some local representatives saying they would like to see more green areas in the village.
Labour Local Area Representative for Douglas, Peter Horgan said the site in Douglas should be enhanced to provide a community space for the village, instead of a supermarket.
Fine Gael Councillor Deirdre Forde also had concerns about the plans.
“There has been a lot of kickback against it already. People are querying it.”
Mrs Forde said that it was important to deliberate on this planning application carefully and said that with few available lands in Douglas, every piece of ground needed to be guarded.
“I would be anxious that what is developed is an appropriate use of space that reflects the needs of the people.”
An Rabharta Glas Councillor Lorna Bogue said she felt the community of Douglas was being forgotten and it was time to turn the tide in terms of the focus on commercial developments within the area.
“Douglas is becoming a car park and the 64 car spaces planned for this Lidl will not help. It’s all very excessive.”
Ms Bogue said that there was a need to build and develop areas where people could build community, and green spaces were needed in the village.
“The community park is always rammed and there are very few green spaces around where people can go. I think there is some sort of reimagining needed”.
The councillor said that she felt the focus in terms of planning had been very retail focused up to now and this was something that needed to shift.
“The community has been left to one side. There is not much focus on the centre as a community hub. I don’t think it makes sense.”