Tesco to build new Mullingar superstore as “disappointed” residents’ appeal fails

O’Growney Terrace residents have voiced their disappointment with the news that An Bord Pleanála has turned down their appeal against the planning permission granted to their large retail neighbour, Tesco.

“We’re disappointed with the news. We thought we had reasonable objections, but the Bord upheld nearly all of their [Tesco’s original] application,” said Liam Lally, a spokesperson for the residents.

“We’re disappointed, but we have to accept it. We wouldn’t have the money to go any further,” he added reasonably.

In December the residents lodged a 20-page document with An Bord Pleanála, outlining their “very serious concerns” with the permission granted by the county council to the multi-national retailer in October when it approved a plan lodged in March to demolish the existing store and petrol station, re-orientate its new footprint to the westerly end of the site, and increase its overall floor space.

The proximity of the proposed new loading bay to O’Growney Terrace, particularly the constant beeping noise of all the reversing delivery lorries, was the main concern of the residents.

They were also concerned with the increase in height of the build, and the potential loss of view for some of the residents.

Tesco is planning a major facelift of its Mullingar premises which will see a 15 per cent increase in retail space, and the car park expanded to 500 spaces at the Ashe Road premises.

Described by a Tesco spokesman as “the grand old lady of our portfolio”, a shopping centre has existed on this site since 1978 - initially as 3 Guys, and then Gubay’s, before Tesco took over - and has only had a number of minor cosmetic, or internal adjustments to its layout to date.

It has not yet been decided whether to close down sections of the store for the nine to 12 month projected build, or to install prefab modules in the car park, but “there will be some form of trading while the building is going on” said a Tesco spokesman.

He wanted to assure the six sub-leasing traders on the site that “satellite business will continue”, and that “units will be built for them first”.

At this stage Tesco has not yet revealed the cost of the build, its start date, or when it might be completed.

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