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Dunnes Stores gets permission for Crumlin shopping centre

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Dublin City Council has given the green light to family owned retail giant, Dunnes Stores, for a ‘landmark’ shopping centre for Crumlin in Dublin 12, with the potential to provide up to 450 jobs when operational.

The city council has given the project the go-ahead after Dunnes firm, Better Value UC lodged revised plans earlier this year.

A planning report drawn up by KPMG Future Analytics for Dunnes Stores says the scheme – which will include a new anchor unit for Dunnes Stores, a Food Market, café and medical centre – has the potential to provide up to 450 jobs when operational and 150-200 jobs during the construction phase.

That phase – which will involve the demolition of the existing dilapidated shopping centre – is due to last 18 to 24 months.

KPMG Future Analytics contended that the revised scheme “will regenerate the area” that will become “the focal point of the community and act as a catalyst for further redevelopment of the area”.

The consultants say that the project will deliver “a multi-million euro investment in the area”.

As part of its proposals, Dunnes Stores was proposing the retention of 400 car spaces, which was a reduction on 103 existing car spaces and also include the upgrading to 80 EV charge spaces.

In response, the National Transport Authority (NTA) told the Council that the proposal for an extensive surface car park providing 286 more spaces than permissible “may not be the most efficient use of land in this highly accessible, inner suburban location and may encourage use of the private car for trips to the proposed development that could be undertaken using other modes”.

In their report accompanying the revised plans, KPMG Future Analytics stated that the retention and reconfiguration of 400 spaces “was required to support the commercial viability of the scheme”.

The Council’s planner’s report stated that “while the quantum of existing car parking provision is typical of destination shopping centres of the 1970s, the proposals in the application to reduce the quantum of existing car parking spaces and provide a range of increased sustainable transport modes such as cycle parking and mobility spaces is welcomed”.

The Council has included a condition that a Mobility Manager shall be appointed to oversee and co-ordinate the development of a Mobility Management Strategy for the site.

The Council had raised concerns over the planned roof wave design but states it had received assurances from the applicants that the proposal “will create an active and distinctive frontage to the centre and will provide for a vibrant edge to the Crumlin Road”.

The Council granted planning permission after concluding that the development “will provide for the rejuvenation of the site in the first instance and will provide for much needed additional retail space with additional community facilities”.

The Council stated that having regard to the nature and scale of the development and the welcome regeneration of a dilapidated site in this Key Urban Village, it has no objections to the proposed development.

A retail impact statement lodged with the scheme states that the annual turnover from the net increase in retail floorspace will be €62.9m for 2027.

The shopping centre first opened in 1974 comprising 39 individual retail units and two larger units. Today, the centre is largely vacant with the exception of the main Dunnes Stores anchor store.

An Environment Impact Statement Report states that the existing shopping centre is dilapidated and regularly attracts anti-social behaviour.

The EIAR states that when operational the site “will be transformed into a welcoming and inviting shopping centre with high quality retail provision designed to serve the Crumlin and surrounding areas for years to come”..

The planning report states that the food market “will add vitality and footfall to the scheme, particularly given its extended operational hours and a dedicated facility management company ensuring its successful operation”.

The report contends that the redevelopment will address the current under-utilisation and vacancy issues that exist on the site today and stimulate further opportunities for the area.

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