Business Irish

Monday 23 April 2018

Fresh talks after court ruling on Moore Street site

Despite landmark victory for Hammerson, there is some way to go to achieve unity on site

Members of the Raging Hormones local community drama group turn out for the Save Moore Street 2016 campaign two years ago, advocating national monument status for the buildings in Dublin’s city centre. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Members of the Raging Hormones local community drama group turn out for the Save Moore Street 2016 campaign two years ago, advocating national monument status for the buildings in Dublin’s city centre. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Talks will resume this week between FTSE 100 property investment giant Hammerson and the relatives of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, following a court blow to the latter's plans to establish Moore Street as a national monument.

Last week the Court of Appeal overturned a declaration that buildings and sites on and around the Dublin street are a 1916 Rising battlefield site comprising a national monument.

The three-judge court ruled that the High Court had no jurisdiction under Section 2 of the National Monuments Act to declare that the buildings and site are a "national" monument because that is ultimately a "political and policy choice".

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan said that such choices must be determined by either executive or legislative powers which cannot appropriately be discharged by an unelected judiciary.

The ruling is a major breakthrough for Hammerson which in 2016 secured a five-year extension of its planning permission for the development of a shopping centre on Moore Street.

The Court of Appeal's ruling was a disappointing blow to the people behind the campaign to save the historic buildings from demolition and it remains to be seen if relatives and other groups seeking to preserve the site will seek any amendments to the existing planning permissions granted to Hammerson. For its part, the Government had argued it was only necessary to protect 14-17 Moore Street, where it is intended to establish a 1916 Rising Commemorative Centre.

The Heritage Minister Josepha Madigan said that the Government will study the ruling, adding that opening the final headquarters of the 1916 Rising leaders to the public remains a "top priority".

Hammerson, which acquired 50pc stakes in Dundrum, the Ilac and the Pavilions in Swords after paying Nama €1.85bn for €2.6bn worth of loans, has pledged to begin talks with all interested parties and to protect the site's heritage and connection with 1916.

Separately, Hammerson has announced that Australian stationery chain, Smiggle, has launched its fifth Irish store in Pavilions Shopping Centre, Swords, one of the best-performing assets in the entire Hammerson group.

River Island has also chosen to upsize its current store.

River Island's expansion will see it upsize from its existing 7,798 sq ft store into a new 10,738 sq ft unit that will include a ground floor level, as well as a mezzanine.

Hammerson co-owns Pavilions Shopping Centre with IPUT and Irish Life.

Simon Betty, Hammerson director of Retail Ireland, said it is "fantastic to welcome Smiggle into the centre and to accommodate River Island in upsizing".

"Both are great brands and their decision to secure space is testament to the centre's position as North Dublin's leading shopping destination, and also clearly demonstrates the trend of growing occupier demand for prime retail space," Betty said.

Sunday Indo Business

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