Tesco superstore planning delayed

The potential development of a new Tesco superstore overlooking Cavan Town has been delayed by a request for further information in the planning process. A decision on a new Lidl store at Creighan, meanwhile, is due next month; while An Bord Pleanála has yet to adjudicate on a planning appeal for a new Aldi store in Cootehill.

A decision was due on March 12 in respect of the Tesco planning application for the 3.86 hectare site at Cockhill but planners at Cavan County Council sought further information from the developer, Tesco Ireland, on Friday of last week.

The supermarket giant has six months in which to supply the relevant information and the planning process is paused until such time as the local authority receives it.

Plans already submitted are for the construction of a single-storey retail unit with a gross floor area of almost 5,200 sq m.

Other elements of the proposed development include a drive thru café unit with external seating and a filling station, 297 car parking spaces, 120 cycle parking spaces, two dedicated ‘Click and Collect’ car spaces, a grocery home shopping delivery vehicle docking area, service yard, pedestrian linkages with the Town Centre by way of the provision of a sloped pedestrian walkway and steps on the western boundary of the site.

An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) were already submitted with this application.

The site is bounded to the north by St Clare’s National School, to the south by residential lands and to the west by the Main Street backlands.

The land is still under council ownership but Tesco Ireland remains in “advanced negotiations” regarding the purchase of the site.

Planning permission for the supermarket was first granted more than a decade ago only for it to expire.

This is a fresh planning application for a replacement store.

There were strong objections to the original plans submitted by Tesco over 10 years ago. Many businesses, in particular retailers in the county town, organised a petition opposing it. They felt the proposed store turned its back on the town and would take away footfall from the core town centre retail area. Cavan Chamber, however, has since disbanded. The latest planning application doesn’t appear to have generated quite as much opposition among local retailers.


However, there were two submissions made by third parties.

Peter Sweetman made a submission on behalf of Wild Ireland Defence CLG; while Cian O’Donoghue lodged a submission in the name of Friends of Killymooney Lough. The latter claims that the environmental impact assessment report submitted with the plans is “inadequate”. The group cite further concerns over traffic and the potential visual impact of the development. They also highlight what they say is the ‘cosy quid pro quo’ between the local authority and the applicant in respect of the sale of the site.

As part of its further information request, Cavan County Council is asking Tesco to review the design and layout of the proposed Cavan Town development.

Planners say the elevation facing onto the town core area should be revised to take account of the visual impact on the town.

They have also sought revised drawings of the main entrance and south elevation to ‘address architectural merits of the overall design’.

The planning department has also said that plans should indicate the proximity of the new St Clare’s school building to the adjacent services on the Tesco site.

A Tesco Ireland spokesperson told the Celt on Tuesday: “We confirm receipt of a further information request in relation to our proposed replacement store in Cavan Town. We look forward to working through the elements raised and engaging with Cavan County Council as part of the process.”

In the event of the new store being permitted and delivered, a Tesco spokesperson previously outlined to this newspaper its plans for its existing stores in Cavan Town: “It’s our intention that this space will be sold to a suitable alternative retailer and continue to add interest to the Main Street. We propose to dispose of this unit to a user that is suitable for the existing planning and use of the building. We will not hold this as a vacant site on our portfolio. It would be inappropriate to comment any further, as these are commercially sensitive negotiations.”

Tesco also said, subject to planning approval, the new development will see a modern, sustainable, and accessible new store with new car parking facilities, ‘Click+Collect’ services for customers and a Grocery Home Shopping Hub to serve the wider catchment of County Cavan.

“Our existing store operates from a building, which is over 50 years old, so moving to a replacement store will result in a much-improved work environment for colleagues and shopping experience for our customers,” stated the supermarket’s spokesperson.

They emphasised Tesco’s ongoing commitment to the Cavan, insisting the county town remains a “key part” of its overall store footprint.

Tesco employs more than 170 colleagues in its stores in Cavan Town and Bailieborough.

New Lidl store

Separately Lidl plans to knock its Cavan town supermarket and replace it with a new store.

Cavan County Council is considering the plans with a decision due on April 3, having received further information on the file last month.

Lidl aims to demolish its existing outlet and construct a new, larger store, totalling 2,560 sqm. Also included in the plans are 120 car parking spaces and the relocation of the HGV delivery bay.

A number of submissions were made to Cavan County Council highlighting a number of concerns about the proposed development. They were lodged in the name of ‘Concerned residents of Creighan’ and also Gaffney & Cullivan Architects on behalf of the Harton family.

The Hartons live opposite the site and say they are “extremely concerned” at the potential environmental impact that the enlarged development with have on residential amenity.

Other concerns highlighted by the Hartons and Creighan residents also include increased noise, light pollution, increased traffic and road safety.

The Creighan residents also highlighted issues with litter and Japanese Knotweed.

They said they were “disappointed” they weren’t consulted prior to the plans being drawn up.

Aldi in Cootehill

A decision on Aldi’s planned new supermarket in Cootehill remains outstanding more than a year after it was appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Cavan County Council sanctioned the development in February 2022 but retail body RGDATA, which represents independent, family owned stores in Ireland, appealed it.

A decision was due to be made by ABP on July 4, 2022, but still hasn’t been announced.

Asked by the Celt this week, a spokesperson could not give a date as to when the decision would be made known.

“This file is at board level. It has progressed past the inspector and they have given a report with a recommendation, but there’s no decision on the system just yet. It will probably be another while still, maybe a couple of months, but we don’t have an exact date.”

The spokesperson said it was dealing with a “backlog of cases” that had built up over Covid. It also said it had “insufficient staff” at board level.

“The rate of cases being decided isn’t as good as it used to be. As we get more board members appointed to us by the minister, that rate of decisions will increase.”

Planned for a site on Station Road, next to the town’s Garda Station, Aldi intends to build a 1,315 sqm supermarket using its Project Fresh design. Parking facilities for 93 cars and 10 bicycles are also included. It will also be powered by 100% green electricity and will feature four electric vehicle (EV) charging points outside.

A pedestrian walkway will link from the supermarket to Market Street.

Aldi says it expects to create 60 jobs during construction, with 25 posts within the store once opened.

Plans already submitted are for the construction of a single-storey retail unit with a gross floor area of almost 5,200 sq m.