Friday 17 January 2020

Tesco sizes up Dublin Airport for online shopping facility

Planners fear store would worsen congestion

Tesco Ireland CEO Kari Daniels
Tesco Ireland CEO Kari Daniels

Fearghal O'Connor

Tesco has earmarked Dublin Airport as a potential site for a 'click and collect' supermarket.

But the retailer faces a battle with local planners should it wish to pursue the project, after they said such a development could have a "detrimental effect" on access to the airport.

A detailed submission to planners by consultants Avison Young on behalf of Tesco Ireland outlined why access to retail opportunities at the airport should be opened up.

The submission was made as part of a consultation on the Dublin Airport Local Area Plan 2020-26.

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In its submission, Tesco Ireland, whose chief executive is Kari Daniels, argued for "a balance between the promotion of non-aviation commercial development and safeguarding the primary operational role of Dublin Airport as the country's main international airport". It added: "While commercial office space is increasing at Dublin Airport Central, this will in turn result in an additional workforce being attracted to the area, with likely increased demands on local services.

"In this regard, the provision of an increase in the number of retail facilities for these additional workers will likely be required."

The submission said it was "important that new commercial areas are provided with the services they require, as a lack of services in the local area will make the proposed commercial office development less attractive to prospective occupants".

It continued: "The provision of additional retail convenience facilities would make the proposed offices more attractive and welcoming for new tenants and their staff."

Tesco said there was potential for a click and collect store at the airport. The service, which already operates at Gatwick Airport, would allow people to shop online and collect goods at an arranged time.

"A dedicated collection point is usually provided in a car park and this gives customers flexibility in undertaking their weekly shopping," said the submission.

But a response to local area plan submissions by the Fingal County Council chief executive said retail uses within Dublin Airport were subject to zoning, and "development of significant non-core uses could have a detrimental effect on maintaining surface access and ensuring investment is effectively utilised to protect core function".

"It is not appropriate to insert objectives regarding retail uses to service staff and other persons who are not passengers," said the local authority.

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