German discounter Lidl has reportedly accused Tesco of being a “serial objector” after one of its planned store openings was blocked in Limerick city.
The discounter had gotten permission to demolish its Punches Cross store and replace it with a larger new build, but permission was overturned by An Bord Pleanála due to the size of the shop, according to The Times, Ireland Edition.
Lidl has claimed that Tesco lodged 20 appeals against its projects. The German discounter had planned to rebuild its store with a new floor area of 1690 square metres from its existing store size of 1,002 square metres, an increase of about 68%.
Limerick City Council ruled in favour of Lidl’s planning application, but restricted the size to 1,250 square metres.
The discounter appealed against the decision, saying that due to a requirement for local development contribution of €163,550 the project had become unfeasible.
The retailer also demanded that An Bord Pleanála clarify Tesco’s actual interests and its reasoning for objecting the store.
“This appeal is based on commercial considerations only,” Lidl said, warning that a planning refusal could endanger the commercial viability of its existing store.
Tesco, which operates a nearby store in Roxboro Road shopping centre, argued that the size of Lidl’s proposed store was excessive for a site zoned as a local centre and that it was inconsistent with retail planning guidelines that dictate that anchor stores not exceed 400 square metres.
The UK-based retailer said that it raises objections only where there is “a legitimate planning ground or precedent to justify the objection”.
Recently, Aldi railed against Tesco along with Supervalu because the two retailers repeatedly objected to a number of Aldi’s planning applications across Ireland.
An analysis of planning record by The Irish Times at the time showed that Tesco Ireland had objected to 16 separate proposed Aldi developments over recent years, with a heavy concentration in Leinster and the greater Dublin area, for example on the Malahide Road in Dublin and in Leixlip.
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan