Fianna Fáil Minister for European Affairs, and Meath East TD, Thomas Byrne has told Meath Live that local councillors knew of Lidl’s intention to build a new store in Dunboyne before Christmas.
And he has urged locals to check the German giants planning application, ‘very carefully’, when it is lodged with Meath County Council.
Byrne also confirmed our exclusive revelation from earlier in the week that work will be carried out on the iconic Fair Green trees.
He said, ‘I met Lidl on Thursday to be briefed by them on their proposal for a new shop in Dunboyne. This followed from a briefing which local councillors received
‘Lidl will have an online briefing on Tuesday and also committed to me that they will hold an in-person meeting also, now that public health allows it.
‘It should be said that the planning process is independent and decisions are made by Meath County Council and An Bord Pleanala, and not by us elected politicians. No planning application has yet been lodged by Lidl, and we really cannot give a full view until we see this.
‘Lidl informed me that there will be no interference whatever with the Village Green or anything part of it. I said that this was a critically important point. The exceptions are that a small number of parking spaces are to be swapped around, one tree will need to be pruned and a new bus shelter will be installed. This is something that needs to be checked very carefully when an application goes in.
‘The church car park would be replaced to the rear of the Church and some shops would be placed next to the parochial house, with the shop in at the rear.
I asked about lorry movements and I was told that the typical Lidl store has one lorry delivery per day.
‘As regards car traffic and the changes to turns or whatever, our planners will judge that based on the submissions of the applicant and of any residents who make observations – but I was assured this wouldn’t mean any major physical changes affecting the green. As far as I can tell, there is no proposal whatsoever to connect to next door residential areas.
‘A number of people asked me to ask why Lidl were proposing a shop here when they have one in Clonee etc. The answer to that is that that is a commercial decision for them to make, subject to planning permission.
‘The public consultation being done by Lidl is unusual by commercial planning applicants and not required by law. In Dunshaughlin (where admittedly no one was objecting to the shop), I worked on behalf of local residents and I can honestly say all issues were resolved between the company and the residents.
‘However, while encouraging residents to take part in Lidl’s public consultation, the real legal planning process only starts when a planning application goes into Meath County Council. Then, everyone will be entitled to their say in writing and our independent planners in Meath County Council (or An Bord Pleanala) will make the decision.