Monday 23 October 2017

New owners of €630m Liffey Valley suffer major setback

An artist’s impression of how the revamped Liffey Valley Shopping Centre would have looked
An artist’s impression of how the revamped Liffey Valley Shopping Centre would have looked
Dennis O’Connell, manager of Liffey Valley Shopping Centre

Gordon Deegan

The new owners of the €630m Liffey Valley shopping centre in south county Dublin have suffered a major setback.

An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for a €150m extension to the centre that would have increased its size by 50pc. The proposals also included plans for what would have been Ireland's first 2,500-seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena capable of holding international ice skating competitions.

The skating rink was part of a mixed leisure, entertainment, commercial and retail extension in the form of three integrated structures, with capacity for 60 extra stores, organised around a large public plaza.

Up to 450 full-time and part-time jobs were to be created upon completion, as well as 225 construction jobs during the development phase that would have brought the total number of people employed in the centre to over 2,500.

However, the appeals board has refused planning permission for the development, ruling it would cause "serious traffic congestion" in the area.

Property manager Hines said that it was "disappointed" with the decision.

"We will now reflect and take on board these positives as well as the concerns raised, as we plan the next stages of development of the centre," the company said.

The planning board stated that on the basis of information submitted, it could not be satisfied that the proposal would not have a negative impact on the operation and safety of the strategic road network in the area, in particular the M50 and the N4.

The appeals board has upheld the concerns contained in appeals by An Taisce and the Moriarty Group, which operates three SuperValu supermarkets - at Balbriggan, Skerries and Palmerstown - and two hotels; against the South Dublin County Council decision to grant planning. In its appeal, An Taisce heritage officer Ian Lumley argued that "this is a car-based retail development adding significantly to an already problematic car dependent location".

Mr Lumley said car-generated congestion is already undermining the function of the M50 as a strategic transport link to key gateways including Dublin Airport.

Germany's largest pension fund, Bayersche Versorgungskammer bought Liffey Valley for €630m last year.

Irish Independent

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