Ikea plan for ‘flagship’ store in Cherrywood will not proceed

Company had sought to have masterplan for strategic development zone (SDZ) amended


, the Swedish household goods multiple, will not be permitted to proceed with its plans for a new 35,000sq m “flagship” store in the


area of south Co Dublin.

The company had sought to have the latest masterplan for this strategic development zone (SDZ) amended to include large-scale retail warehousing to accommodate a “flagship project of national significance”.

But An Bord Pleanála, in its decision to approve the SDZ masterplan, made no provision for such a development – in line with the recommendation of senior planning inspector Tom Rabbette, who had presided at a lengthy oral hearing.

"I would not recommend that the board insert a specific objective allowing for a large-scale retail warehouse use in Cherrywood and I would not recommend that the board modify the proposed land uses to accommodate such a use," he said.

Would act as a 'catalyst'
It had been argued by Ikea's planning consultant, Tom Philips, that the presence of such a large international retailer would act as a "catalyst" for the development of Cherrywood, which has been "on hold" since the property crash.

He told the hearing that Ikea was looking to expand its presence in the Irish market due to the success of its first store in Ballymun. Cherrywood was the “preferred location” because of its proximity to the M50 and Luas Green Line.

To secure a site of 0.8ha for the retail warehouse and parking for 1,500 cars, the company wanted the masterplan modified to “rezone” a specific site off Wyatville Link Road for the proposed development and include it in the first phase of Cherrywood.

But Green Party transport spokesman Tom Kivlehan argued that such a "destination-type retail offer" would have traffic implications for the area – a view also taken by the National Roads Authority (NRA) – and that retailing in Cherrywood was always intended to be local.

In his 173-page report, Mr Rabbette noted that the omission of a large-scale retail warehouse use in Cherrywood was "not an oversight" by the members of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, as they had considered the matter at the plan's draft stage.

Joint study
Depending on the outcome of a joint study by the council, the NRA and the National Transport Authority, the council could "at some stage in the future" vary the planning scheme for Cherrywood by including provision for a "large-scale retail warehouse", he said.

An Bord Pleanála generally approved the Cherrywood SDZ planning scheme, which covers an area of 800 acres – the largest undeveloped area within the M50. It provides for some 70,000 sq m of offices, a town centre and up to 7,000 new homes.