THE owners of The Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght have said a proposed €40m extension is necessary because it has become "dated and threatened" due to more modern facilities in the capital.
Last month Dunnes Stores - one of The Square's main tenants - brought a High Court challenge against An Bord Pleanala over the granting of permission for the extension across two sections of the existing centre.
Dunnes has concerns about a number of conditions in the permission relating to the impact the extension will have on its retail business at The Square.
Indego, the majority shareholder in the centre's operating company Square Management Ltd, was yesterday granted permission to have the Dunnes challenge transferred to the fast-track Commercial Court. Indego and South Dublin Council are notice parties in that case.
Bernard Hamill, a director of Indego, said the extension is "an important and necessary development of The Square which has become dated and threatened by more modern shopping centres in the greater Dublin area".
In an affidavit, Mr Hamill said the addition of a new anchor store in one of extended sections is critical to improve and revitalise the centre.
It is anticipated that the reconfiguration of a number of units, including a number that are vacant, in the second section will make them more desirable to prospective tenants.
The development also includes a multi-storey car park for 835 vehicles to replace an existing 289-space surface car park.
Apart from Dunnes Stores, Indego has received significant support from other retailers.
The project will create 250 to 300 construction jobs and 300 to 400 full and part-time positions. It is hoped construction work can start late next year with completion by summer 2017.
Nama has first legal charge over the units in The Square and has supported the redevelopment, on which €9m has already been spent, Mr Hamill said.
Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed to a request from Garret Simons SC, for Indego, to transfer the case to the Commercial Court.
Lawyers for Dunnes and An Bord Pleanala said they were not objecting or consenting to the transfer.