Minister to bring plans to Cabinet to allow Ikea outlet in Ballymun

 

The Minister for the Environment, Mr Roche, is to press ahead with regulations which would allow for the opening of a massive Ikea outlet in north Dublin, despite reports of objections by Cabinet colleagues.

A spokesman for Mr Roche told The Irish Times last night the Minister believed that it would be possible for regulations to be crafted in such a way which would allow, on a once-off basis, for the Ikea development.

The Sunday Tribune reported yesterday that the Minister for Communications, Mr Dempsey, who held the environment portfolio until September, was the main objector at Cabinet to Mr Roche's plans for a special exemption to the national retail planning guidelines.

A spokesman for Mr Roche last night declined to comment on the report of Cabinet unhappiness with the plan. However, he said the Minister would be bringing proposals to Government on the issue early in the New Year.

The planned Ikea outlet in Ballymun would, at 28,000 square metres, be more than four times the limit imposed by Mr Dempsey in guidelines for retail warehouse-style developments.

The proposal for the exemption to the guidelines is understood to have prompted fears by other Ministers that the move could be challenged by other large retailers in that it would benefit one particular company. There have also been fears that it could lead to traffic problems on the nearby M50 motorway.

However, a spokesman for Mr Roche said the Minister was determined to go ahead with the regulations. He said the Ikea development would bring 500 jobs. The Ballymun regeneration project was one of the largest of its type in Europe, and needed a flagship project, he added.