Angry reaction to Dunboyne Lidl store plan

With the long awaited planning application for a Lidl supermarket in Dunboyne finally lodged, there has been an angry reaction over changes being proposed to the village green area, including the removal of parking spaces and the installation of traffic lights that local councillors say would bring traffic to a standstill in the town.

Ever since Lidl announced last January that it was to build a supermarket and cafe unit on a site between the parochial house and St Peter's and Paul's Church, there has been widespread concern over what changes were being proposed to the centre of the village and the lodging of the application has done little to allay those fears with some saying the changes going even further than expected.

A community meeting takes place upstairs in Mulvany's on Thursday night, 1st December at 8pm, where locals will discuss their next moves in objecting to the plans. Earlier the same evening, Lidl will host their own community information meeting at 6pm in Dunboyne Castle Hotel to brief locals on its updated plans and says the store will create 30 new local jobs as well as 100 jobs during construction.

Cllr Maria Murphy said: "From their application, there seems to be far greater changes to the public realm, footpaths and parking bays than they would have indicated. The changes they are proposing are very invasive. Dunboyne is a living village and the changes that are proposed will have a great impact on residential amenity and access to property.

Cllr Murphy said they are "excusing" removing parking bays by saying they will replace them in their car parks but argued that you cannot replace public spaces with private spaces and there would be no control over opening times, charges or clamping measures.

She also pointed out that Dunboyne's Village Green is a landscape convervation area and the trees are protected.

"It is extremely intrusive and out of context with the way I want the village to go forward. I agree with moving with the times and improving the village but this is way out of line.The four arm lights would bring the village to a standstill.

"They are proposing to redesign the village centre to suit the needs of their large trucks getting in to the supermarket."

Cllr Damien O'Reilly is vehemently opposed to the plans. He said: "I find the proposed alterations to Dunboyne totally unacceptable from this applicant or any other applicant who would propose such outrageous changes to Dunboyne village centre.

"Dunboyne will see major changes over the years to come, with lands zoned for 2,500 high density housing units on all lands surrounding the current footprint of Dunboyne. It is paramount that Dunboyne village centre maintains its unique historical character as per Dunboyne Architectural Conservation Area I find the proposed changes to Dunboyne outside the applicant’s ownership and boundary totally unacceptable."

He is urging Lidl to reconsider the application and consider a new location in Dunboyne. "No applicant has the right to remove 58.65 sq. meters of public realm from Dunboyne. The proposed changes to this junction outside the ownership of the applicant will severely alter the special character of Dunboyne and generate traffic chaos. I find it totally unacceptable for any applicant to remove and or alter positions of disabled parking spaces in any village or town outside their site boundary ownership."

Submissions can be made on the plans up to 22nd December.