Dealz brings High Court challenge over decision stopping retailer from operating near Liffey Valley

Discount retail chain Dealz has brought a High Court challenge to a decision which prevents it from continuing to operate from a retail park near the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin.

Poundland Ltd, which trades as Dealz, wants an order quashing a June 2018 Bord Pleanála decision that the use of a unit at Fonthill Retail Park, Fonthill Road, as "a discount store for sale of small scale convenience goods" was not exempted development.

It has operated a store from the park for a number of years under a lease from the owners, the PKB Partnership.

An Bord Pleanála, Ireland, the Attorney General and South Dublin Council, who are defendants, oppose the action. The PKB Partnership is a notice party.

Poundland also seeks declarations including that the original 1998 planning permission for the Fonthill unit permitted the premises to be used as a shop where retail goods could be sold.

Poundland says its use of the unit is consistent with planning and development regulations and does not constitute a change of use. It, therefore, does not require planning permission to continue, it is claimed.

It says the board had no entitlement to reformulate the issue of its right to operate so as to create "an entirely different question" that the use of a permitted retail warehouse for a discount store was not exempted development.

The issue referred to the board by the PKB Partnership, after South Dublin Council had refused permission for change of use, was that not only was the use permitted by the original permission but that a subsequent decision that only "bulky goods" could be traded from the premises was not relevant or enforceable.

PKB argued that in its 17-year history the granting of permission for several other retail outlets had set "a pattern and a precedent" at this location. Those other outlets include Lidl, Aldi, Londis, Eurasia, Homestore and More, Powercity, Smyth's Toys, Cash and Carry Kitchens and Homebase.

Some of those businesses and several other individuals and organisations wrote to the council supporting Dealz while the small retailers' association, RGDATA objected.

Poundland, in its legal action, says An Bord Pleanála was also required to notify it (Poundland) that it had reformulated the issue of the type of permission the premises enjoyed and did not do so. It seeks a declaration that its constitutional rights were breached because of this.

The case came before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan today for mention. He adjourned it to next month.

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