herald

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Dundrum centre's expansion plans sink due to flood fears

PLANNING

Water cascades down a stairwell at Dundrum Town Centre in 2011.
Water cascades down a stairwell at Dundrum Town Centre in 2011.

THE owners of Dundrum Town Centre have been refused permission for a one million square foot expansion over flood fears for neighbouring shops and houses.

The plan for the second phase of one of Dublin's biggest malls would have involved building on the old Dundrum shopping centre which was built in the 1970s.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council blamed "an increased flood risk to surrounding property" for the decision to refuse planning.

The application had asked for permission to build a large store, 77 smaller shops, nine restaurants, a 96-room hotel, 40 apartments, a medical centre and a 1,900-space car park. A new library was also planned.

Dundrum Town Centre - which has tenants such as Harvey Nichols, Tesco and HMV - was built by developer Joe O'Reilly's building firm.

The centre now belongs to the State and is controlled by the Nama.

appeal

Nama took full control of Dundrum Town Centre last April when it bought all loans connected with the centre by buying out debt held by Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland.

The agency did not comment yesterday on the planning permisson setback and declined to say whether it would appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Nama is now believed to be planning to sell the centre together with the Pavilions in Swords and the Ilac Centre, off Dublin's Henry Street.

The existing shopping centre has more than 100 shops, 40-plus restaurants, a cinema and theatre, and 3,400 car park spaces. Opened in 2005, it has an annual footfall of 19 million.

Its tenants generate a retail income of €50m-a-year, meaning its new owners can expect a return of around 5pc a year if it sells for around €1bn.

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