Door open for hypermarket

RELAXING of legislation on the size of supermarkets could open the door for a previous rejected planning proposal for a ‘hyper market’ at Dundalk Retail Park.

RELAXING of legislation on the size of supermarkets could open the door for a previous rejected planning proposal for a ‘hyper market’ at Dundalk Retail Park.

An increase in the maximum size of supermarkets in Ireland’s largest cities has been proposed by the Government following a commitment under the EU/IMF programme that the State would consider eliminating the cap on retailers’ size.

In a consultation document published this week by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, the cap on supermarkets in the Greater Dublin area will increase from 3,500 to 4,000 square metres, while in the rest of Ireland a cap of 3,500 would be considered.

An Bord Pleanala overturned an application from Dundalk Retail Park to build a huge hypermarket in 2009, which it was reported at the time had been earmarked for ASDA.

Finnabair estates lodged a planning application to build the massive retail outlet, which it was speculated would be the first outpost for UK retailer ASDA, who are themselves owned by American retailing giant Walmart.

ASDA denied that they were to be the occupants of the new ‘hyper market’ and their then communciations manager Philip Bartram was reported as saying speculation about a move to Dundalk was “incorrect”.

The Dundalk Democrat contacted Finnabair Estates for comment but did not receive a reply before going to print. The 2009 development would have employed over 400 people at the retail park.