Sunday 25 February 2018

Planned €150m Liffey Valley project will be 'reviewed' if carpark rejected

Shoppers in Liffey Valley. (Stock picture)
Shoppers in Liffey Valley. (Stock picture)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A PLANNED €150m extension to Dublin's Liffey Valley shopping centre will be reviewed if An Bord Pleanála does not approve a huge multi-storey carpark as part of the development, according to Liffey Valley centre director Denis O'Connell.

South Dublin County Council approved the massive extension to the shopping centre in west Dublin last year. It will add an extra 22,000 net sq m of space at the development, boosting its net size by about 50pc.

It's intended that the development will include an Olympic-sized ice rink with space for 2,500 spectators, as well as 7,000 sq m of retail space and nearly 3,800 sq m of restaurant space.

But the council refused permission for a multi-storey carpark that would provide parking for 1,800 vehicles.

The expansion plans were submitted last year to the council by US investment firm Hines, which is development manager for Liffey Valley.

Hines was a part-owner of Liffey Valley until last year, along with co-owners Grosvenor and a unit of HSBC. Liffey Valley was acquired in December for €630m on behalf of Germany's largest public pensions group, Bayersche Versorgungskammer.

Hines continues to act as development manager for the centre.

Liffey Valley currently has parking capacity for 3,500 vehicles.

Dennis O'Connell
Dennis O'Connell

"The council's view was that the multi-storey would set a precedent that would be contrary to the county development plan and that the existing level of car parking was consistent with requirement for both the current and proposed development," said Mr O'Connell.

The case has been referred to An Bord Pleanála, which is due to issue a ruling soon.

Asked what would happen with the planned development if An Bord Pleanála also rejects the multi-storey plans, Mr O'Connell said he'd "have to wait and see".

"We'll have to review it. We've seven acres to develop. We have the permission and the council has been supportive. The lack of additional carpark space is a setback. We're just going to have to see. We're a bit up in the air at the moment," he added.

Liffey Valley Shopping Centre attracted 8.6 million people last year, a figure that Mr O'Connell said would probably rise to between 9.5 million and 10 million this year.

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