Dealz brings court challenge to planning restriction at Fonthill Retail Park

Retailer seeks order quashing An Bord Pleanála decision

Dealz has operated from the Fonthill Retail Park for a number of years.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Dealz has operated from the Fonthill Retail Park for a number of years. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Discount retail chain Dealz has brought a High Court challenge to a decision preventing it from continuing to operate from a retail park near the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin.

Poundland Ltd, trading as Dealz, wants an order quashing a June 2018 An Bord Pleanála decision that the use of a unit at Fonthill Retail Park, Fonthill Road, as “a discount store for sale of small scale convenience goods” was not exempted development.

The company has operated a Dealz store from the park for a number of years under a lease from the owners, the PKB Partnership.

An Bord Pleanála, Ireland, the Attorney General and South Dublin Council, who are defendants, oppose the action.

The PKB Partnership is a notice party.

Poundland also seeks declarations including that the original 1998 planning permission for the Fonthill unit permitted the premises to be used as a shop where retail goods could be sold.

Poundland claims its use of the unit is consistent with planning and development regulations, does not constitute a change of use and therefore does not require planning permission to continue.

It says the board had no entitlement to reformulate the issue of its right to operate so as to create “an entirely different question” that the use of a permitted retail warehouse for a discount store was not exempted development.

Refused permission

The issue referred to the board by the PKB Partnership, after South Dublin Council refused permission for change of use, was that the use was permitted by the original permission. It was also claimed a subsequent decision that only “bulky goods” could be traded from the premises was not relevant or enforceable.

PKB argued that, in its 17-year history, the granting of permission for several other retail outlets had set “a pattern and a precedent” at this location. Those other outlets include Lidl, Aldi, Londis, Eurasia, Homestore and More, Powercity, Smyths Toys, Cash and Carry Kitchens and Homebase.

Some of those businesses, and several other individuals and organisations, wrote to the council supporting Dealz while the small retailers’ association, RGData objected.

Poundland, in its legal action, also claims An Bord Pleanála was required, but failed, to notify Poundland that it had reformulated the issue of the type of permission the premises enjoyed. It seeks a declaration that its constitutional rights were breached because of this.

When the case came before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan on Tuesday for mention, he adjourned it to next month.