Developer seeks to challenge zoning ruling


A DIRECTION by Minister for the Environment John Gormley overturning the designation of The Park Village lands in Carrickmines, Co Dublin, 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 Mr Gormley’s decision in judicial review proceedings before the Commercial Court.

The Minister had instructed the local authority to delete the “district centre” designation and to revert to the previous zoning objective of the Dún Laoghaire County Development Plan 2004-2010 – a “neighbourhood centre” development at Carrickmines to provide for economic development and employment.

A neighbourhood 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 claims the failure to designate the lands as sought would cost 700 jobs in construction of the scheme and another 800 jobs in the completed scheme.

The proceedings were transferred to that court’s list yesterday by Mr Justice Peter Kelly.

He directed that the leave to appeal 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, 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.

Tristor owns 3.14 hectares at The Park Village.

These lands make up the majority of the designated lands with a lettable retail space of 25,000sq m (269,000sq ft).

It secured planning permission in April 2008 from the council for a mixed-use development on those lands of 88,790sq m of mixed, retail, office, leisure and residential uses.

It secured that permission about 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 that 1,500 jobs are threatened and while a major retail anchor tenant is already committed to its proposed development, other potential tenants are refusing to commit themselves because of the uncertainty.