Report published by DCU’s Anthony Foley and ALDI today highlights the grocery savings local communities are missing out on every month
Planning decision delays of up to 91 weeks recorded
Report launch comes as retailer announces ambitious €33.6 million Midlands expansion plan
Grocery retail consumers across Ireland are losing out on savings of €78,333 every month due to delays in planning appeal decisions, a new report published today has found.
The report, compiled by Dublin City University’s (DCU’s) Professor Emeritus of Economics, Anthony Foley, and commissioned by discount retailer ALDI, looks at the consumer and wider economic impacts of delays by An Bord Pleanála deciding on third-party appeals of ALDI planning applications over the five-year period 2018 to 2022.
“The Financial Impact of Ireland’s Planning System Delays on Irish Consumers” details that of the 16 appeals of ALDI planning applications made to An Bord Pleanála over the five-year period, 13 experienced decision delays resulting in total savings forgone to consumers of almost €10 million.
An Bord Pleanála has a statutory deadline of 18-weeks to reach a decision, however over the period analysed in this report, ALDI has experienced delays of up to 91 weeks in excess of this deadline (*see breakdown in table below). Furthermore, €1.7 million per month is lost in spending with ALDI suppliers, 330 of whom are local Irish companies.
The report is published today as ALDI today announced a €33.6 million investment in four Midlands counties over the next two years.
As part of the company’s overall growth and development strategy in Ireland, ALDI has submitted planning applications to construct four new stores across the Midlands, at Tullamore (Offaly), Moate (Westmeath), Granard (Longford) and Kilcock (Kildare). If approved, the proposed stores would all open by 2025, creating 120 permanent jobs across the region, with 200 jobs supported during the construction phase.
The report launch comes as ALDI today, 7 September, submits its planning application for the fourth of these stores, in Granard.
This announcement builds upon ALDI’s ongoing commitment to expanding its store footprint and delivering unbeatable value to communities across Ireland. In 2022, ALDI announced details of ambitious West of Ireland and Dublin expansion plans, which saw the discount retailer commit to building 16 new stores across Dublin and Connacht as part of a €135 million investment, creating 490 permanent jobs with 900 more jobs supported during construction.
Author of the report, DCU Professor Emeritus Anthony Foley, said:
“I am pleased to present this report, which aims to provide empirical evidence of the tangible financial impact that delays in assessing appeals of ALDI’s planning applications has had, and continues to have, on local communities and consumers throughout Ireland.
“We know that these delays can be a source of frustration for businesses, but quantifying what it means in real terms for shoppers right across the country is an important step in understanding the impact that inefficiencies like this have every single day.”
Colin Breslin, Managing Director, Buying and Services, ALDI Ireland commenting on the reportsaid:
“This report quantifies the value ALDI brings to the local communities that we operate in, something which has long been recognised by shoppers across the country. Our goal is to deliver this value within reach of every town, village and rural community in Ireland, and we have ambitious plans to expand our store network. Over the next two years, we plan to open four new stores across the Midlands, as part of a €33.6 million investment, alongside our previously announced Dublin and West of Ireland expansion plans.
“Unfortunately, this report also demonstrates that our planning system is one of the biggest obstacles we face in delivering stores within convenient reach of every household in Ireland. 91 weeks to wait for a planning decision simply is not acceptable, and the cost for hard-pressed Irish consumers is clear to see.
“We acknowledge that progress is being made in the overhaul of An Bord Pleanála and the need for the organisation to get an injection of additional resources. We have detailed a set of recommendations for Government and legislators to consider. Primary among these is the need to ensure that an enhanced Bord Pleanála is comprehensively staffed. The consumer and wider economic gains of doing so are clear from this report.”
The full report can be viewed here.
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