Consultants for Kilkenny Group lodge appeal over €100m development

Goodman family plans redevelopment of Setanta Centre on Nassau Street

Planning consultants for the Kilkenny Group claim a planned €100 million office development by the Goodman family at Nassau Street in Dublin would have a detrimental impact on the overall financial viability of the retail group.

In an appeal lodged against the grant of planning for the redevelopment of the Setanta Centre, the consultants state that the Kilkenny Group has 304 employees nationally which rely on the viability of the flagship store on Nassau Street.

The Kilkenny Group operates 14 other stores around the country and the group has enlisted the assistance of the Design & Craft Council of Ireland and Retail Excellence Ireland in its bid to stop the Setanta development proceeding.

The Setanta Centre houses the Kilkenny Design Centre.

Karen Hennessy, chief executive of the Design and Craft Council of Ireland, told the appeals board: "At a time of growth in online trading and impact on 'bricks and mortar' stores coupled with the uncertainty of Brexit facing businesses, any impact on the Kilkenny store and the group from the proposed development will have a material impact on jobs throughout Ireland."

Group chief executive of Retail Excellence, David Fitzsimons, has told An Bord Pleanála: "Our members would have serious concerns on the potential foot fall impact of hiding an iconic store with its famous windows behind hoarding and scaffolding along with the noise and dust, which would be immensely detrimental to the commercial viability of many of our members in the area."

Setanta Unlimited, which owns the site, lists beef baron Larry Goodman and his son, Lawrence Goodman, as directors. Lawrence heads up the family's property interests as well as running his own property development business.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times