Tuesday 19 March 2019

Kilkenny Group lodges appeal against €100m office development

Landmark: The Setanta Centre houses The Kilkenny Group’s flagship store
Landmark: The Setanta Centre houses The Kilkenny Group’s flagship store

Gordon Deegan

Planning consultants for the Kilkenny Group claim that a planned €100m office development by the Goodman family at Nassau Street in Dublin would have a detrimental impact on the overall financial viability of the retail group.

In an appeal lodged against the grant of planning for the €100m redevelopment of the Setanta Centre, the consultants say the Kilkenny Group has 304 employees nationally who rely on the viability of the flagship store on Nassau Street. The Kilkenny Group operates 14 other stores nationwide and the group has enlisted the assistance of the Design & Craft Council of Ireland and Retail Excellence Ireland in its bid to stop the development proceeding.

The Setanta Centre houses the Kilkenny Design Centre, and chief executive of the Design and Craft Council of Ireland, Karen Hennessy, has told the appeals board: "At a time of growth in online trading and impact on bricks and mortar stores coupled with the uncertainty of Brexit facing businesses, any impact on the Kilkenny store and the group from the proposed development will have a material impact on jobs throughout Ireland."

Ms Hennessy said with more than 100 Irish brands in store, the sales through the Kilkenny Design Store "have a significant impact on the lives of many Irish craftspeople".

The firm, Setanta Unlimited, which owns the site, lists beef baron Larry Goodman and his son Lawrence Goodman as directors. Lawrence heads up the family's property interests as well as running his own property development business. The firm has requested an oral hearing and stresses it is not against the principle of development of the Setanta Centre.

A report by applicants Ternary Ltd, lodged with Dublin City Council, says the existing buildings "have reached the end of their useful life and are no longer fit for purpose". The city council gave the plan the go-ahead after concluding that the development would integrate satisfactorily with the surrounding development.

Irish Independent

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