Green light for €135m Liffey Valley Shopping Centre extension by Hines

An Bord Pleanála granted permission despite opposition from The Square in Tallaght

Property group Hines has secured planning permission for a €135 million major extension to the Liffey Valley shopping centre in west Dublin.

An Bord Pleanála has granted permission for the extension in spite of trenchant opposition to the plan from the operator of a rival retail centre, The Square in Tallaght.

The new plan, first lodged in March 2020, seeks to provide a contemporary mixed leisure, entertainment and retail extension to Liffey Valley that is to be centred on a large public plaza and creating a new east-west street at the centre.

The extension is to be anchored by two large retail units to either side of the public plaza.

A retail impact assessment lodged with the planning application stated that the extension would deliver an additional €128.65 million in retail revenues for the Liffey Valley centre by 2025.

Last April, South Dublin County Council granted permission but the plan was stalled after The Square lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála.

In its appeal, The Square Management Ltd argued that what was proposed was "wholly unsustainable and a continuation of an outdated car-based, 1980s-style mall template".

On behalf of The Square, Downey Planning stated that the extension “offers a staggering amount of new retail floor space and the total will be over 120,000sq m compared to just over 22,000sq m” when Liffey Valley was first built in 1997”.

However, the appeals board granted permission after its inspector in the case, Mary Crowley, concluded that the scheme would constitute an appropriate form of development and would not be contrary to the retail policy as set out in the council's development plan.

Decision welcomed

Ms Crowley also concluded that the scheme would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety and convenience.

On Monday a spokesman for Hines welcomed the decision, which will allow for the “strategic future expansion of Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on development lands immediately adjacent to the existing centre”.

The spokesman stated that Liffey Valley has seen a number of new store openings this year, including Zara and TK Maxx.

“We are currently in discussions with a number of significant retailers as part of our overall future development strategy and encountering strong demand from exciting new brands interested in having a physical footprint at Liffey Valley and we look forward to providing unique and appealing new customer experiences,” he said.

He noted a key recent development being the commencement of construction on a major new BusConnects interchange in the current car park close to the centre’s main entrance. And he said Hines would enhance the scheme by including residential and office uses.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times

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