An artist's impression of the new store planned for Cootehill.

New Aldi project to create 85 jobs in Cootehill

SuperValu also announces expansion plans for town

Construction of a new €6.5M Aldi store in Cootehill is set to begin in 2024 after the project cleared the final planning hurdle last week.

The German supermarket says the development will create up to 60 jobs during construction and 25 permanent roles once open to shoppers; while SuperValu in the town has also announced a major development plan.

The move has been welcomed as a “positive” for the town of Cootehill and its shoppers.

Aldi Ireland now intends to build the 1,315 sq m store on a site connecting to Station Road and Market Street (pedestrian only) sometime in 2024.

Last week, An Bord Pleanála upheld a decision by Cavan County Council to grant planning permission for the store.

The Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association (RGDATA), the representative association for over 4,000 independent family owned grocery shops in Ireland, has appealed the planning permission.

The group highlighted a high level of commercial vacancy in Cootehill and contended one of those sites should be redeveloped to provide the proposed store.

As such, in a report from Stephen Ward Town Planning and Development Consultants, acting on behalf of RGDATA, the group aruged that the Aldi development was contrary to the Cavan Retail Strategy, which prioritises the reuse of vacant buildings.

In his report, An Bord Pleanala inspector Hugh D. Morrison recommended the granting of planning permission having regard to a number of guidelines and plans, including Retail Planning Guidelines, the Cavan County Development Plan 2022 – 2028; and the Cootehill Local Area Masterplan.

“It is considered that the applicant has demonstrated the need for its proposed discount foodstore and thus its appropriateness, as Cootehill has a low level of convenience retail floorspace at present and it consequently experiences considerable expenditure leakage to other towns,” stated the inspector in his summation.

“This proposal would, subject to conditions, fulfil the zoning objective for the site, which lies within the town core, and it would accord with national and local retail policies that seek to ensure that new retail development is located within the shopping cores of town centres.”

He also concluded that additional traffic could be handled "satisfactorily" at the junction between Station Road (R190) and the proposed access road to the site.

On-site access and car parking arrangements were also deemed satisfactory.

Mr Morrison recommended that permission be granted with a total of 16 conditions attached, including a financial contribution by Aldi of €46,380 in respect of public infrastructure and facilities.

Conditions also stipulate that free parking be provided for a minimum period of three hours and that a pedestrian link is developed to Lower Market Street and the installation of CCTV, the cost which is to be borne by Aldi.


John Foy, owner of Foy's SuperValu on Cootehill's Market Street, has hailed the decision as a “positive” for the town.

“I believe the town will progress. The more business, more competition there is, the better it is for an area. It makes a town stronger. We'll have more people coming into Cootehill to shop, we're not disappointed.

"There is great optimism off the back of this. I think it'll bring people back into town who maybe had been going elsewhere. So I think its a positive,” said Mr Foy who, as a member of RGDATA, supported their submission on the Aldi proposal.

“Every planning application that goes in they look at it independently. They make a decision to try and protect the independent retail market. Their main objection to this was trying to keep our main streets alive. The only downside [to Aldi moving to Cootehill] is that it's off the Main Street. If they had a shopfront on the Main Street, there'd be no objection.

"It's behind the church, with no vehicular access from the Main Street. There is no sour grapes about it. I personally feel, yes it's good for the town, but the traffic on the Main Street will reduce naturally.”

SuperValu expansion

With Aldi set to invest at least €6.5m in the development, Mr Foy unveiled plans to extend his own patch. He's already spoken to staff about the proposals and is excited for the future.

The Foys have been in business in Cootehill since 1999, starting out with 12 staff, and over the years have grown to now now employ over 75 people

“We own a number of businesses that employ another 30 people. So we've played a part in growing business in the town and we're very proud of that.”

They now intend to invest €1.5m themselves to extend the store in 2024, as well as incorportating a suite of new technologies to further enhance shopper experience.

“That's the level of confidence we have in Cootehill, even with a competitor coming in. Competition is good. It keeps you on your toes.”

He says Super Valu and Aldi already match on price across a range of more than 300 top-selling individual products.

“We give service, we have our reward card, and Super Valu are a professional group that's been around for the last 140 years. So we have the ability to compete. The most important thing is we want to give our customers in Cootehill the best shopping experience possible.”