Aldi's Cootehill plans delayed after planning appeal

The plans were approved by the County Council last month.

Aldi’s plans for a new supermarket in Cootehill have stalled after the development was appealed to the planning board.

The retailer was granted planning permission for its second outlet in the county in early February after almost a year of deliberation by Cavan County Council.

Planned for the site along Market Street and Station Road in the town, it was approved last month subject to a number of conditions.

Submissions on the plans were made by retail group RGDATA, which has now appealed the planning approval to An Bord Pleanála.

In its submission, the group - which represents independent family owned stores in Ireland - raised a number of concerns if the supermarket was allowed to progress.

It said there is a high level of commercial vacancy in Cootehill and the redevelopment of one of those sites should be incorporated into the plans. It also said the development is considered contrary to the Cavan Retail Strategy, which prioritises the reuse of vacant buildings.

Following the submission of further information requested by the Council, Stephen Ward Town Planning and Development Consultants, acting on behalf of RGDATA, said the content of the original submission had not been addressed by the revised plans.

It highlighted the need for “a much better relationship between the proposed development and Market Street and the remainder of the town core”, again pointing to the refurbishment of vacant town buildings.

The original application was lodged with the Council last March but a decision was delayed due to a request for further planning to be carried out to deal with traffic flows and existing water infrastructure on the site.

Revised designs for the approach road to the store and the provision of cycling and walking infrastructure were later furnished by the company. Irish Water had also highlighted the presence of wastewater infrastructure through the site, which requires works to divert pipes. Discussions on works took place between the utility and representatives of Aldi.

The company says it expects to create 60 jobs during the construction phase of the €6.5 million development, with up to 25 jobs in the store itself.

News of the new supermarket met a broad welcome from social media users locally and Cootehill Chamber President Lisa Pepper highlighted the development as a positive for the town when she spoke to the Celt after the plans were lodged last year.

Following the planning approval last month, Aldi said it hoped to open the supermarket by mid-2023 but this timeline is now expected to be delayed due to the appeal.

A decision is expected from An Bord Pleanála by July 4.