herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Ice-rink, glazed plaza and 60 new stores set for Liffey Valley

An artist’s impression of the revamped Liffey Valley
An artist’s impression of the revamped Liffey Valley

The landscape of West Dublin will be dramatically changed after a major revamp of the Liffey Valley shopping centre was given the green light.

The dramatic new plans include the country's first Olympic-size ice-rink as well as up to 60 new stores.

Planners have approved permission for a 2,500-seater stadium and a large urban plaza under a glazed canopy as part of the massive expansion.

However, South Dublin County Council has rejected proposals for a multi-storey car park that could have facilitated 1,800 cars and demanded a €5m payment to allow for changes to the local road infrastructure.

The Herald understands the main retail area will be anchored by two stores who have yet to be identified.

The centre's co-owner, Hines Ireland, said "strong interest is being expressed by a number of leading retail brands".

Hine's senior managing director Brian Moran described their plan as "visionary" and said it will "redefine Liffey Valley as both a shopping and retail experience and also a leisure and recreation destination".

However, there is significant local concern about the impact of the development on traffic in the Clondalkin area, as well as on the N4 and M50.

Among 21 conditions attached to the permission, SDCC has requested a parking plan that includes paid parking and restrictions on staff parking.

"The plan shall include initiatives to encourage the use of public transport, cycling, walking and car-pooling for both staff and customers in order to reduce the number of car journeys," they said.

Congestion

The €5m will be used by the council to change road layouts, including the junction with the N4 which see additional "congestion loops" added.

A further €4.65m must also be paid in standard development fees to the local authority.

Local councillor William Lavelle told the Herald there are "very, very serious unresolved issues and questions about traffic management".

He said more needs to be done to limit traffic build-up on the M50 and N4.

"They have refused the car park. I think the council are saying there shouldn't be more spaces than the local roads can sustain traffic-wise," he said, adding that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has raised "very, very serious concerns".

He now wants TII to meet with the local authority's transport committee and engineers "to see what can be done to facilitate this development, not block it".

Overall, though, Mr Lavelle said the expansion is "a positive development" for investment in west Dublin.

The leisure arena, which will be predominately used as an ice-skating rink, will be a massive 10,500sqm.

The planning application noted that it will be "designed for international-standard ice-related activities but also allowing the flexibility for other similar type events with the capacity to seat 2,500 people".

Event organisers will have to provide a draft traffic management plan at least six weeks in advance of any full-seater event.

A dance studio, gym and community offices are also provided for in the plan, as well as a multi-functional open area that will accommodate occasional events, activities and coach parking.

Hines told the Herald that they will now review the overall parking plan and investigate how to address the issues raised by planners.

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