Dunnes Stores contests extension at Tallaght centre

An 18,5800sq m extension to Ireland’s first large shopping centre — the Square in Tallaght, Dublin — is being delayed in a row with Dunnes Stores, which believes the new structure will lead to inconvenience for its shoppers, the High Court has heard.

Dunnes is one of the three anchor tenants in the Square and is not happy with the plan to put the €30m extension on the northern car park. The supermarket says its shoppers will be inconvenienced and will have to travel a further distance as result of the new extension.

The Square Management Ltd (SML), which manages and operates the freehold of the centre’s units, along with National Asset Property Management Ltd (NAPML), which owns lands used for car parking at the centre, and the extension developers, Indego Ltd, are seeking court declarations that Dunnes has no estate, interest, or claim over the car park.

They want declarations that the supermarket chain has no right to use the lands for anything, be it car parking or otherwise, beyond a lease it entered into in 1990. It is also claimed Dunnes is trying to frustrate the redevelopment.

Dunnes opposes the application and says a notice issued by SML stating it can redevelop the car park has no legal effect or standing. Gavin Ralston SC, for SML, NAPML, and Indego, said the main part of the case related to how the lease for the Square is to be interpreted under landlord and tenant legislation.

There are 289 spaces on this surface car park, but under the expansion plans, a multi-storey car park with 850 spaces will be included, Mr Ralston said on the opening day of the case.

Dunnes also claims it has acquired certain rights to the carpark by virtue of “easement by prescription” which allows the supermarket use it without having to own the property, counsel said. That claim is denied.

Mr Ralston said that if a person was to have to travel in from the farthest corner of the existing car park, they would still have to travel a distance.

Mr Ralston said there was full planning permission which Dunnes had unsuccessfully challenged in High Court judicial review proceedings.

The case continues before Mr Justice Max Barrett.


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