In response to a statement by Lidl Ireland describing Tesco Ireland and RGDATA as lodging vexatious objections to their planning application for a new store, Tara Buckley, the group's director general, has said that 'RGDATA is not a vexatious objector'.
In the statement that Lidl issued recently it highlighted that it has received notification that Galway City Council has approved plans for a new Lidl store in Knocknacarra at the junction of Western Distributor Road and Bothar na Stiofan.
At the time of the original submission there were two observations only lodged on file, from Tesco Ireland and RGDATA, the lobby group who also represents Musgrave, the parent group of SuperValu, the German retailer said.
"This mirrors a similar pattern of observations which they have made in respect of nearly 80% of Lidl planning applications for the construction of new stores and major refurbishment projects over the past 3 years," the discounter said.
"Lidl has long held the view the serial objections from both Tesco Ireland and RGDATA are part of a planned and sustained campaign to delay the construction or refurbishment of Lidl stores. The fact that 93% of new store planning applications granted to Lidl have been upheld by An Bord Pleanala illustrates the lack of success they have had in convincing the final arbitrator on the merits of their objections."
Independent Planning System
Lidl said in the statement that is 'supportive of an independent planning system which provides opportunities for concerned parties to make observations at all stages of the planning process, it feels it is appropriate to call out what is plain for all to see as vexatious delaying tactics on the part of Tesco Ireland and RGDATA.'
"In doing so they consistently go against the public who continue to be supportive of Lidl’s plans to bring new stores, investment and employment to their communities. This Lidl store will cater for 9,450 residents living within a 1km radius of the proposed development. The nearest SuperValu is located in Barna (10km away) and the nearest Tesco is a Tesco Express located 3km away," the German retailer said.
"The actions of Tesco Ireland and RGDATA serve their individual interests only; actions which are anti-competitive, anti-better value for consumers and anti-job creation."
Retail Planning Guidelines
'In lodging objections on spurious and, in many instances, on contradictory grounds both Tesco and RDGATA are misusing the planning system designed to cater for bona fide observations', Lidl added in its statement.
"This misuse of the planning system not only results in additional work at unnecessary cost, ultimately borne by the taxpayer, but also takes up the valuable time of planning bodies which are, in many cases, under resourced and whose valuable skills could otherwise be utilised to address current property market difficulties.
"RGDATA supports the Government’s Retail Planning Guidelines which promote sustainable retail planning and vibrant towns and villages," Tara Buckley added.
"RGDATA is involved in a major project with The Heritage Council to ensure the regeneration of Ireland’s Town Centres."
Buckley added that the group bases all of its planning objections on sustainability and vibrant towns and villages.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.