A SuperValu store owner has failed in its attempt to block plans by Irish Life Assurance to convert a shopping mall in Dublin city centre into a new supermarket just a short distance from its own outlet.
An Bord Pleanála has rejected an appeal by the Kane McCartney Group, which operates five SuperValu supermarkets in Dublin including a branch on Talbot Street, against a decision of Dublin City Council to grant planning permission to Irish Life for the conversion of the Talbot Mall into a new supermarket.
The ruling clears the way for Irish Life, the owners of the shopping mall which forms part of the Irish Life Centre, to develop a 1,791m³ supermarket which will include a bakery and off-licence section.
The insurance group has been seeking a new use for the mall as a result of the closure of all of its 12 small retail outlets in recent years.
Irish Life admitted it had only “a limited degree of success” with its previous efforts to reinvigorate the Talbot Mall including the installation of virtual shopfronts and acknowledged that it had continued to be “a relatively underutilised space”.
It claimed the development conformed to the council’s own objectives of revitalising older retail centres through the rejuvenation of existing shopping centres.
In its ruling An Bord Pleanála said the proposed development, subject to compliance with a number of planning conditions, represented an appropriate redevelopment of the shopping mall and would be consistent with the council’s retail policy.
The Kane McCartney Group - which is controlled by businessmen, Eddie Kane and Dan McCartney - had argued that planning permission for the new supermarket should be refused as there was already an overconcentration of such outlets in the area.
It pointed out that there were six supermarkets including their own SuperValu store within 600 metres of the Talbot Mall.
The group said a new supermarket would not enhance the mix of retail uses on Talbot Street, while also noting the plans did not provide for any car or cycle parking spaces.
The development will result in the closure of the existing pedestrian route through the mall between Talbot Street and Abbey Street which Irish Life said is necessary for security and safety reasons.