Lusk residents have accused a developer of selling them down the river after the retail element of plans for a 15-acre site appear to have been pared back in favour of more housing.
The €75m Lusk Village Quarter scheme was unveiled to much fanfare last October, with the promise of “traditional family homes and impressive new amenities” including shops, cafes and civic spaces.
But five months later, an amended application omitting a commercial block and 850sq m for food and drink use in favour of more apartments and houses has been granted.
Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF) said she was “extremely disappointed and dismayed” at the council’s decision to allow the developer “to reduce the commercial aspect”.
She added: “The much welcomed Lidl has now been moved from the second phase of the development to the fourth phase, meaning it will be the last thing to be built.
“Communities need local facilities and local businesses to grow and prosper. This is not good planning. I will be supporting the local community in appealing this awful decision.”
More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition calling for developer McGarrell Reilly to be prevented from replacing planned shops with more houses.
It notes that the number of commercial units on the Station Road site has been reduced from 24 to eight, and the planned public square appears to have been scrapped altogether.
It also warns: “The number of shops and facilities has changed very little since it was a village of 700 people; soon there will be over 10,000 people in the town.”
On its website (www.luskvillagequarter.ie), the developer promised a raft of amenities including a public square lined with a “vibrant mix” of shops and cafes.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the developer said the permission granted was just the first of four lodged with the council as part of the overall master plan.
He said the scheme in its entirety provides for 16 commercial units including the new Lidl supermarket, pub, restaurant, cafes, a creche and additional shops, and added: “It provides houses and apartments along with a new village square, green spaces and play spaces.”