An Bord Pleanala has refused planning permission for the construction of a Lidl supermarket in Baylough on the westside of Athlone.
News of the decision emanated on Tuesday afternoon and speaking to the Athlone Advertiser following the confirmation, Town Mayor, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke stated that he was “shell shocked” by the announcement.
“I am deeply disappointed to learn of this decision taken by An Bord Pleanala. This is not the result I expected for Baylough or for the westside of Athlone.
“Westmeath County Council granted the planning permission last year and if that decision had not been appealed by local businesses the construction of the new Lidl in Baylough would be well underway today.
“Recruitment would also be ongoing for new employment positions at the store at this time and Baylough would be seeing the first major investment in the area for decades.
“Not only is this a cruel blow to the principals involved, but it is also a cruel blow to the locality. There was so much positivity towards this proposal and I didn’t meet a single person opposed to the development.
“While today is a dark day, I plan to meet again with the principals very soon and encourage them to continue with the process. Let us address the issues raised by An Bord Pleanala and make a further application in when the time is right.
“This plan is the right one for Baylough and I want to see it happen,” the Town Mayor stressed