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Plans for new Ikea store on southside

DUBLIN looks set to get a second giant Ikea -- the store is being lined up as the anchor tenant in Cherrywood.

The Swedish furniture company opened in Ballymun just over two years ago and it is already planning more outlets.

Dunloe Ewart -- formerly controlled by construction boss Liam Carroll -- is developing the site in Cherrywood.

Despite the economic downturn, Ikea managed to post strong profits in its first full year of operation in Ballymun.

It made a pre-tax profit of €11.4m in the year to the end of August 2010.

However, a number of hurdles have to be cleared before Ikea can be confirmed for Cherrywood, located between the M50 and N11 in south Dublin.

Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown councillors would have to vote to allow such a large retail operation to open at the 360-hectare site. County bosses are currently drafting a strategic plan for the development of the area. It is due to go on public display early next year.

The council says Cherrywood is the "single largest undeveloped land-bank in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown". The Government designated it a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) in May 2010 after an application from the local authority.

Among the aims of the designation is that housing and economic and community facilities will be developed.

"In the long term, the development of the area will provide an opportunity to establish a vibrant new community in a unique location," the council says. The local authority was nominated as the development agency for the site and it had two years to prepare a draft plan.

A stumbling block is that many councillors oppose the development of the land. They argue that the retail park in Carrickmines is more suitable for further investment. But the council has a financial interest in Cherrywood as it entered a joint venture with Dunloe Ewart in 1997, investing €57m.

Its stated aim for the land is to "underpin the creation of a living town". "A new urban area of up to 12,500 homes based around neighbourhoods serviced by a town centre, a number of business districts which could provide employment for up to 18,000, three village centres and extensive park areas are all proposed," it says.