Dundrum Town Centre owner opposes rival shopping development plan

The British and German owners of the Dundrum Town Centre - the largest shopping and leisure development in the country - are leading the opposition against plans by property investment company IPUT for a new retail and residential development at Carrickmines in south Dublin.

Last month, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council gave the green light for the 83,996 square metre development, which proposes two supermarkets, 130 residential units and a cinema that will involve the third phase of The Park, Carrickmines.

Already, well known retail brands including PC World, Smyths Toys, TK Maxx, Lifestyle Sports, Harvey Norman and McDonald's operate in the first two phases of The Park.

The council approved the plan after concluding that new communities are emerging in the area which are within walking and cycling distance of the site.

The Dundrum Retail Limited Partnership (DRLP) - representing Dundrum Town Centre and Movies@Dundrum - has appealed the council's decision to An Bord Pleanála.

DRLP is co-owned by British property developer Hammerson and German financial services giant Allianz.

DRLP said it is concerned over the scale of the proposal and has requested the appeals board to stage an oral hearing into the case.

Consultants for DRLP said approval of the Carrickmines retail plan is "out of conformity with such fundamental provisions of local, regional and national planning policy."

They said permission would send "a very negative message of uncertainty to funders and investors seeking to invest in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and in particular those investing in major town centre and district centres in the county."

The consultants said "the need and justification for this large scale development has to be re-examined and rigorously analysed and tested by the appeals board."

Movies@Dundrum is operated by the Spurling family who also operate multiplexes at Dungarvan, Gorey and Swords.

Consultants for Movies@Dundrum said An Bord Pleanála previously refused planning permission for a cinema at the location in question in 2008.

"We suggest that the reasons for a refusal now can only have solidified given the changes in the economic climate and the changes across the entertainment sector."

IPUT has also appealed the conditions attached to the council decision stating some attached “have the potential to significantly affect the viability and deliverability of the development.

Some of the conditions that IPUT is appealing include the condition that the firm pay €7.1m in planning contributions to the Council and an additional €5.7m towards Luas works.

A decision is due on the appeals in September.

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