Lidl faces opposition to Carrick-on-Shannon supermarket

Local campaigners say the proposed development would be a ‘garish carbuncle’

Opposition is growing in Carrick-on-Shannon to plans by Lidl to build a new supermarket on what locals claim is the last green space in the town.

Locals have described the proposed development in the Co Leitrim town as a "garish carbuncle" that would destroy the aesthetics of the tree-lined approach to Carrick.

Almost 40 objections have been lodged with Leitrim County Council about the project.

A number of objectors have said the development, which would extend to nearly 3,000sq m, would be on a flood plain and is likely to exacerbate existing traffic issues in the area at weekends.


Several have argued that the development would deter potential investors from moving into the adjacent former MBNA building, which employed 1,200 people at its peak.

The site of the planned development was previously zoned as recreational.

Lidl applied to the council for planning permission for the project through Avant Ireland, the owners of the land.

Hotelier Joe Dolan, the current president of the Irish Hotels Federation, said he had no problem with Lidl, "but not on that site" in Carrick.

“We do not need a blue-and-yellow biscuit tin-like building intruding on our skyline on the approach to the town.”

Population density

In a submission to Leitrim County Council, Mr Dolan argued that the site's side of the town already had a very high population density cluster, with a community school, two national schools, a hospital, Waterways Ireland, and a retail park.

“Add another 7,000 on the day of a big GAA event. What if there were a major emergency? What if this emergency was on a day the N4 is flooded, which will happen again and again?”

Local businessman Fintan Cox, who chaired a public meeting on the issue which was attended by more than 150 people, said opposition to the project had been unanimous.

Pointing out that Carrick is regarded as the boating capital of the inland waterways system, Mr Cox said: "The tourism potential of Carrick is huge, but we cannot allow anything which will jeopardise that. There is no way something like this would be allowed in Westport. "

Local resident Gerry Faughan said the proposed "garishly-coloured plastic, glass and steel carbuncle" would be a blight on the scenic approach to the town.

Independent councillor Enda Stenson said Lidl would lose the goodwill of the community if it proceeded: "There is a lot of hurt and anger about this."

In a statement, Lidl said the development had a “state-of-the-art modern design” and would contribute positively to the area.

Marese McDonagh

Marese McDonagh

Marese McDonagh, a contributor to The Irish Times, reports from the northwest of Ireland