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  • Southside

Lidl planning issue causes concern in Shankill

Wednesday, 30th August, 2017 8:00am
Lidl planning issue causes concern in Shankill

Shankill Shopping Centre

Lidl planning issue causes concern in Shankill

Shankill Shopping Centre

SUPERMARKET giants Lidl have been asked to take on the concerns of local people in relation to their plans for the former Shankill Shopping Centre site.

Lidl Ireland is proposing a redesign of the main retail unit as well as the building of several new standalone units, a café, crèche and medical centre.

Cllr Cormac Devlin (FF) said there had been “considerable comment” about some aspects of these plans since they were first published in late April.

“I welcome the fact that Lidl held a one-day public consultation day in advance of submitting their plan, however, they failed to make any changes to their submission after the event,” he claimed.

“The majority of the local residents that I’ve spoken to are very pleased that this site could be revitalised after many years of effectively being dormant.

“There have been several submissions made that locals are hoping Lidl will finally accommodate. One aspect is a simple one, which is the design of the overall retail unit.

“This feature includes the retention of the apex, tiled/slated roof. This would ensure that the centre retains its neighbourhood centre feel and not the semi-industrial look that Lidl want to impose on the quant village of Shankill.”

Cllr Devlin said 14 submissions were made by local residents seeking changes to elements of the plan put forward by Lidl. Some other concerns that were raised highlighted the perceived over-development of the site, not retaining the character of the original shopping centre, excessive traffic and lack of parking for the development itself.

“I welcome the fact that the planners of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County have listened to the concerns of residents and groups in the Shankill area by seeking further information from Lidl,” Cllr Devlin added. “I hope that Lidl will now accommodate as many of these concerns as possible and that they make the necessary changes to their plans.

“Lidl did this when they sought planning permission for their shop in Glenageary. They took on the concerns then and I believe they should now do the same for the people of Shankill.”

The Shankill Shopping Centre was once home to SuperValu which was sold in 2011 to Superquinn.

That deal fell through and the centre was subsequently bought by Bilaro which lodged a planning application with the council in 2013.

Permission was granted for a 15,000sqm centre and work began. 

The Bilaro group had practically redeveloped the entire site which saw the retention of the apex roof and the existing tenants (O’Donnell’s Pharmacy and Envy Hairdressers) but when work stalled they then sold the site onto Lidl, Ireland GmbH.

A spokesperson for Lidl said they had been “inundated with positive feedback from many local residents” since the public information day. 

“We have reviewed all of the public observations on file and at this juncture in the project we would like to take the opportunity to provide clarification in relation to changes made and to address these observations,” the spokesperson said. 

“We would also like to give a background to the design philosophy.

“During the initial design stage Lidl explored the possibility of retrofitting the existing Shankill Shopping Centre.

“However, it does not live up to contemporary retailing standards and was deemed not to be fit for modern retailing purposes.

“The redevelopment of the site will allow Lidl to create an attractive, high quality shopping environment that simply could not be recreated in the existing facility on the site.

“Mindful of the residential setting of the site, the design team sought to retain in so far as is possible, the stone walls surrounding the site and the trees, both of which contribute to the existing character of the area.

“Stone cladding is proposed to the Lidl store façade to reflect the surrounding stone walls thereby relating the proposed development to its surrounding context.

“The existing mature trees on the site have been integrated into the design where possible. Substantial tree and hedge planting has been proposed for the boundaries of the site, using native plants wherever possible.”

The spokesperson added: “The results of the traffic assessment demonstrate that the proposed development will have a minimal impact upon the existing situation.

“In addition, Lidl has set back the boundary of the site at the North West corner to provide land for the Shanganagh Road Improvement Scheme.

“The proposed car parking will comply with standards set out in the County Development Plan and will sufficiently serve the entire proposed development.

“Further changes have been made in line with the public observations such as improving on site pedestrian access and signage.”

 

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