Plans to open a branch of discount multinational Lidl in Westport may have been blighted by one setback after another but The Mayo News can now reveal that the supermarket is set to open by Christmas.
Despite having to change contractor in recent weeks, Lidl confirmed in a statement last week that ‘work have resumed fully and it expects to open the store by the end of 2011’.
It is just weeks since The Mayo News exclusively revealed that construction of the supermarket had come to a halt after the previous contractor, Aidan Elliott Construction Ltd, left the site owing almost €350,000 to sub-contractors.
When questioned by The Mayo News last week about the status of these debts, a Lidl spokesman was tightlipped.
He said in a statement: “Lidl is not in a position to comment on any of its contractual arrangement between contractors.”
However, the statement did respond to a question by The Mayo News regarding local concerns, highlighted by former Town Councillor, Dave Keating, about the state of the public pathway between the Pinewoods and the New Road.
“Lidl Ireland can further confirm that the public pathway between the Pinewoods and the New Road will be reinstated and upgraded with landscaping.
Speaking on Covie’s Corner on WRFM, Westport’s new community radio station, Mr Keating was highly critical of the Town Council over its the lack of consultation with local residents about the removal of this pathway.”
He said: “One of the conditions by An Bord Pleánala when granting planning permission for the Lidl site was the upgrading of this public walkway. In early August the then contractor removed the existing pathway. However, due to ongoing problems on the site, including the replacement of the original contractor, the pathway has still not been reinstated or upgraded. To make matters worse the Town Council never informed local residents and users of the pathway that it was closing and when exactly it was to reopen.”
Mr Keating cited the fact that this pathway has been in public use for over 30 years and urged the local authority to define the boundaries and establish the right-of-way in law.