Carrickmines designation case in court


A direction by Minister for the Environment John Gormley overturning the designation of The Park Village lands in Carrickmines as a “district centre” will cost 1,500 jobs if it is not quashed, a developer has claimed before the Commercial Court.

Tristor Ltd, which wants to develop the Park Village as a district centre, is seeking leave to challenge the Minister’s decision in judicial review proceedings before the Commercial Court. Tristor claims the failure to designate the lands as sought will cost some 700 jobs in construction of the scheme and another 800 jobs in the completed scheme.

The proceedings were transferred to that court’s list today by Mr Justice Peter Kelly who directed that the leave application be heard with the full judicial review proceedings in a telescoped hearing on July 27th.

Tristor, with registered offices at the Herbert Building, The Park, Carrickmines, has brought the action against the Minister, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Ireland and the Attorney General.

It wants an order overturning the Minister’s direction, issued to the Council on March 9th 2010, to delete the Council’s earlier decision designating and zoning the Park lands at Carrickmines as a district centre in the council’s draft development plan 2010-2016.

The Minister instructed the council to delete the “village centre” designation and to revert to the previous zoning objective of the Dún Laoghaire Co Development Plan 2004-2010 - a “neighbourhood centre” development at Carrickmines to provide for economic development and employment.

A neighbourhoood centre designation allows for a considerably lower level of retail floorspace than a district centre and involves a development of small groups of small shops of a local nature serving a small, localised catchment population.

Tristor owns some 3.14 hectares of lands at The Park Village, and those lands make up the majority of the designated lands with a lettable retail space of some 25,000 square metres. It secured planning permisison in April 2008 from the council for a mixed-use development on those lands of some 88,790 square metres of mixed, retail, office, leisure and residential uses.

It secured that permission around the same time as the council began its review of the earlier development plan. Tristor claims its planning permission cannot be implemented until the dispute over the Minister’s decision is resolved. It claims some 1,500 jobs are threatened and, while a major retail anchor tenant is already committed to its proposed village development, other potential tenants are refusing to commit because of the uncertainty.