A FIRST-PARTY appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála in a bid to overturn Cork City Council’s decision to refuse permission for a mixed-use development on the Skehard Road, which included proposals for an Aldi supermarket.
Back in April, Aldi announced that a planning application for a second store on the Skehard Road was to be submitted to Cork City Council with plans to open a 1,337sqm store in 2024.
Aldi's existing Blackrock store, located at Blackrock Hall, opened in 2008 and is one of the busiest of all its stores.
The new Aldi store was to be part of a mixed-use development which also included proposals for 28 residential units and a café.
The proposed development was to be constructed across two three-storey buildings at a site located next to Scally's SuperValu supermarket on the Skehard Road.
The site is currently occupied by a single house which was to be demolished before the two blocks were to be developed.
Developers Lyonshall Ltd were to be responsible for the residential units whilst Aldi was to build the commercial element.
Cork City Council required further information before making a decision on the application, which led to some changes being made to the proposed scheme, but ultimately the council ruled to refuse planning permission.
In its decision, the council stated that the proposed development, by reason of its layout, massing, scale, height and proximity to the southern and eastern boundaries of the site “would be visually obtrusive, result in overshadowing of adjoining properties and, as such, would seriously injure the residential amenities of adjoining properties and be out of character with the area”.
As part of its reasoning, the council also stated that the proposed development site is considered an "out-of-centre site” in accordance with the order of priority for the location of retail developments as set out in a section of the City Development Plan 2015-2021.
“In this regard only in exceptional circumstances can such sites be considered, where it is demonstrated that no other sites or potential sites including vacant units are available and viable.
“It is noted that there is a nearby, underutilised, Neighbourhood Centre at Avenue de Rennes where there is currently no retail provision available,” the council added.
Now Lyonshall Limited has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála in a bid to overturn the council’s decision.
In the appeal report, prepared by HW Planning on behalf of Lyonshall Limited, it states that the applicants consider that the demand for additional retail provision to serve the area has “long been established and is not disputed”.
“We accept that the council had a desire and ambition that this need in the form of a medium size supermarket be met in Avenue de Rennes.
“The challenges of this location in terms of site assembly were acknowledged in the 2014 Mahon LAP,” the appeal report states, adding that Avenue de Rennes “is not a viable alternative”.
The applicants also state that they consider the proposed development is appropriate for the site of proposed development based in policy terms.
“The feedback from the council’s Further Information Request has resulted in a revised layout that is sensitive to the residential amenities of the adjacent dwellings.
“It is envisaged that no significant impacts will arise on the latter from the proposed development, a view supported in the accompanying technical reports,” the report continues.
An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the case by late-May.