Council grants Aldi planning permission for Twin Towns

Donegal County Council has granted planning permission for a discount store in Ballybofey.

Donegal County Council has granted planning permission for a discount store in Ballybofey.

The application from the Butt Hall committee on land it owns at Chestnut road is understood to be for the opening of a store by German discount supermarket chain Aldi.

Donegal granted planning permission last week for the development on the site which is close to the town centre and is adjacent to FInn Park football stadium.

The local authority has imposed conditions with some aimed at prevent flooding and allaying road safety concerns. There are also and measures to prevent the development impacting on water quality of the nearby River Finn which could damage the habitat of the Atlantic Salmon.

The application attracted an objection from Aldi’s rival German discount supermarket, Lidl, which opened a store in the town in 2011.

Lidl expressed concern that the project “may give rise to an unacceptable flood risk” as it is within a zone that has a high probability of flooding.

The objection also suggested the new supermarket may impact on the retail vitality and viability of the town.

An objection was also made by Shane Fitzgerald of Bohermore, Galway who set concerns about the absence of a current local area plan for the Twin Towns and the lack of a retail impact statement with the application.

A report by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaelthacht found the development could significantly damage or destroy the freshwater habitat of the Atlantic salmon and otters.

The department recommended that mitigation measures set out in an impact statement be implemented in full.

Lidl, Supervalue and Eurospar stores have opened in the town in recent years and Tesco have had two applications to open a turned down after appeals to An Bord Pleanála.

The application is for a store with a floor area of almost 1,500 square metres and includes the erection 82 car parking spaces.

The project also includes work to an existing flood defence embankment located to the south of the site.