Dublin council raises concerns over Liffey Valley expansion

Proposed redevelopment would include an Olympic-size ice rink

Liffey Valley shopping centre in Dublin. File  photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Liffey Valley shopping centre in Dublin. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

South Dublin County Council has raised serious concerns over plans for a major expansion of the Liffey Valley shopping centre in Dublin, which include a new Olympic-size ice rink.

The council’s concerns centre on the increased traffic that would be generated by a 51,545sq m extension to the shopping centre, the construction of a 1,800-space multi-storey car park, as well as the ice rink, which will have the capacity to host events for 2,500 people.

The potential effects of the development on the already heavily congested N4 and M50 have also been raised by the National Roads Authority (NRA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Hines Ireland in February sought permission for the expansion of the centre, which opened in 1998 on the site originally known as Quarryvale, located at the junction of the M50 motorway and N4 road.

The controversial rezoning of the Quarryvale site for the shopping centre, which was developed instead of a new town centre in Clondalkin, became the subject of the Mahon planning tribunal.

Hines Ireland said the expansion would provide an Olympic standard ice-skating arena, which would allow the State to host international winter sports competitions, events and ice entertainment performances.

The company said a two- to three-storey extension of the centre would also bring in two major anchor tenants, and up to 60 new shops and restaurants.

Significant revisions

However, the council has ordered significant revisions to the plans, noting in particular the concerns of the two State transport authorities.

TII had said the impact of the scheme on the N4 and M50 “was not assessed correctly”.

TII, the NRA, and the council were also concerned about the proposed provision of 1,820 free parking spaces and requested a “charging regime with a parking rate to discourage those who have alternative means of travel from driving”.

The council said no traffic assessment was carried out in relation to maximum capacity events at the ice rink.

“We have no indications of the frequency of such events.”

Further concerns were raised about the capacity of the existing roundabouts to accommodate additional traffic, and the adequacy of cycling infrastructure.

Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle said despite the centre’s “chequered” planning history it had become a substantial source of local employment.

However, he said any expansion must not be allowed undermine the sustainable and efficient operation of the surrounding road network.

“I would request that the planning authority conduct a robust assessment of the likely traffic impact of the proposed development, with a view to seeking modification or the introduction of traffic management measures as appropriate.”

Hines has six months to respond to the council’s concerns or its application will fall.