An Bord Pleanala has pushed out until May 27 the date on which it will decide on the appeal by the German discount supermarket Lidl against Westmeath County Counci's decision to refuse it permission for a new supermarket on the old Horizon ballroom.
The application by Lidl is for a single-storey foodstore with off-licence, extending to a total floor area of 1,902 sqm, together with a 79-space car park and 21 bike spaces.
Westmeath County Council turned down the Lidl application on the grounds that it was on a “remote” site, relative to Mullingar town centre.
The council stated that it considered that if permitted, the store would become a retailing destination in its own right, and would, therefore, undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre, and the development of identified Neighbourhood Centres.
This, the council continued, would be contrary to both the Retail Planning Guidelines 2012 and the Westmeath Retail Strategy 2007, as well as contravening retail policies in the Westmeath County Development Plan 2008-2014.
Lidl has indicated that if the store, its second in Mullingar, is given the go-ahead, it will deliver up to 20 full-time jobs, and up to €721,000 annually in wages.