Shopping centre owner challenges planning enforcement notices

Centre home to dozens of firms and will be obliged to close if forced to comply, says owner

The shopping centre claims the council acted irrationally, unreasonably and contrary to law when it decided to issue and serve the enforcement notices.

The shopping centre claims the council acted irrationally, unreasonably and contrary to law when it decided to issue and serve the enforcement notices.

 

A company that owns a shopping centre in Co Tipperary claims the premises will have to close if forced to comply with an enforcement notice issued by the local council.

GL Ireland ICAV, which bought Thurles Shopping Centre at Slievenamon Road, Thurles in 2015, has brought a High Court challenge over a decision by Tipperary County Council to issue several enforcement notices, including one requiring the centre to close an entrance used for the delivery of goods.

The centre contains dozens of businesses, including several retail stores, a post office, cafe, and a cinema. On Monday, Jarlath Fitzsimons SC, for GL Ireland, said it was served with three enforcement notices in respect of conditions attached to the planning permission granted to the shopping centre’s previous owner in 2007.

The enforcement notices state the centre is in breach of the premises’ planning permission requirements. They require the owner to take certain steps, including to close off a service entrance used for deliveries and to do landscaping works on lands the company does not own.

The notices also require the owner to remove and reposition many external windows and doors and to build significant structures, including a maintenance building and a bicycle park.

Service entrance

GL Ireland claims compliance with those steps would lead to the permanent closure of the shopping centre as it could not function without an operational service entrance. Mr Fitzsimons said among the grounds of challenge to the notices is that they were served outside the time allowed under the 2000 Planning and Development Act.

In its judicial review proceedings against the council, GL Ireland seeks orders quashing the enforcement notices serveed on it last July in respect of Thurles Shopping Centre. It claims the council acted irrationally, unreasonably and contrary to law when it decided to issue and serve the enforcement notices.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted on an ex-parte basis (one side only represented) by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan returned the matter to December. The judge put a stay on the council taking any further steps in respect of the notices pending the outcome of the action.