PLANNING permission has been granted for a new Lidl at the Shankill Shopping Centre site.
The council decided to give the OK late last week following a request for further information from Lidl Ireland about the development.
The supermarket giant plans to extensively redesign the main retail unit as well as building several new units including a cafe, creche and medical centre units on-site.
A number of objections by local residents were made for reasons such as concerns around extra traffic, the removal of trees and fears that the building would be “excessively large for its suburban surroundings.”
One objection stated: “I respectfully remain convinced that the mixed-use element suggested by Lidl will not improve village life for residents.”
The Shankill Shopping Centre was once home to a 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 15,000sq m 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’Donnells Pharmacy and Envy Hairdressers) but work stalled and they then sold the site onto Lidl.
Despite concerns from some locals, the council decided to grant permission after receiving further information on the plans and Lidl Ireland has said they have been “inundated with unprecedented positive feedback from the local community in Shankill since [they] held an opening evening in April”.
A spokesperson from Lidl Ireland told The Gazette that the company is “delighted” to have received the permission.
She said: “We would like to take the opportunity to thank the community for their continued support.
“We have taken on board many of the suggestions from the local residents including the use of stone walls, retaining in so far as is possible existing trees, additional landscaping and the inclusion of enhanced pedestrian access.
“We were somewhat restricted regarding some feedback on the roof design and multi-use nature of the site as we have to first and foremost comply with the Retail Planning Guidelines and the specific zoning of the site.”
The development works will take six months to complete and will create employment for over 50 workers during construction.