Smyth’s claim MetroLink plans would see Swords toy store demolished

Retailer made claim in submission to An Bord Pleanála

The planned Dublin MetroLink will see the demolition of a Smyth’s Toys Superstore outlet at the Airside Retail Park in Swords in north County Dublin, according to the retailer.

In a submission to An Bord Pleanála on the draft Railway Order for the MetroLink, Smyth’s say “the existing store would need to be demolished” under the order as it stands at the moment.

The toy seller has told the appeals board that an alternative site for the existing store has not been identified in the planning report for the MetroLink.

As part of a 11-page submission on the draft railway order, planning consultant for Smyths Toys Superstores, Robert Nowlan contends that the draft order should not be confirmed in the absence of the identification of an alternative site for the proposed demolition of the Smyth’s Toys Superstore.


Mr Nowlan of RW Nowlan & Associates said the outlet at the Airside Retail Park employs 50 and can increase to 90 employees at peak times.

The shop has a floor area of 2,600 sq metres on the ground floor with a mezzanine floor of 700 sq metres, he added.

He contends that the “potential loss to Smyths Toys of the store would have major implications for servicing this strategic area”.

Trading in the current premises started in 2015 and Mr Nowlan stated that market research commissioned by the firm has found that there is currently no suitable vacant location available within the population catchment area which can cater for the level of trade generated in the Airside Retail Park to various limitations.

Mr Nowlan said the proposed Railway Order and accompanying planning report are deficient as no provision is made in the order for a relocation or replacement of the existing Smyth’s store.

The planning consultant claimed that the proposed demolition of the Smyth Toys Superstore outlet materially contravenes a zoning objective in the Fingal County Development Plan.

Mr Nowlan added that “it is essential for Smyth’s Toys Superstores business that a replacement site be found in the vicinity of the current site”. He contends that “this is not adequately addressed in the railway order”.

The family owned Smyth’s Toys is one of the country’s most successful businesses and revenues at the Galway headquartered firm across its Ireland and the UK operations passed the €1 billion mark for the first time in 2021.

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the Transport Infrastructure Ireland draft railway order in May.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times