German discount retailer Aldi has put the opening of a EUR100m (US$131m) distribution centre in Ireland on hold, blaming problems with the planning process.

Aldi outlined its expansion plans for Ireland in May last year, which included the construction of a new distribution centre and office facility. Around 400 jobs were expected to be created from the project.

However, the retailer confirmed yesterday (20 September) that the opening of the centre based in Mitchelstown, Cork, has now been delayed until 2013. Construction was scheduled to be completed in early 2011.

“It has been necessary for Aldi to postpone the opening due to ongoing difficulties experienced in the planning process which has resulted in fewer Aldi stores being opened in 2010 than originally planned,” the company said. “Aldi is continuing to seek planning permissions across the country to support its expansion programme.”

The firm added that the lack of planning permissions for new stores is the only factor contributing to the delay in opening the centre.

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The 56,905 square metre distribution facility was set to service Aldi’s southern stores throughout Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford and Clare.