Thursday 27 October 2016

Rival retailers join forces against plaza

Christy Burke
Christy Burke

Some of Dublin's biggest retailers have banded together to oppose one of the city's main thoroughfares becoming pedestrianised.

Arnotts, Brown Thomas and the Jervis and Ilac shopping centres are among dozens of retailers who have formed a new "single-issue" lobby group to fight plans to create a civic plaza in front of Trinity College and ban cars from College Green and the surrounding area.

The new group, the Dublin City Traders' Alliance (DCTA), is warning that jobs could be lost if the traffic restrictions are approved.


The group is fronted by Noel Smyth, a solicitor who runs Fitzwilliam Real Estate Capital which owns several city centre properties including the Arnotts car park.

Other members are also known to have commercial interests in car parks in the city centre.

Mr Smyth told the Herald his group had no interest in picking a fight with Dublin City Council (DCC) "just because they wouldn't let cars into the city".

"We accept that there is a need for proper traffic management, but to achieve that you need a proper plan and we don't have faith in the current one," he said.

"Our main concern is that thousands of jobs could be lost if you continue to allow leakage out of the city to retailers in the suburbs.

"This issue needs to be addressed in a proper fashion, and that's what we're calling for - a new plan that looks at transport, congestion, retail together and that includes input from those who will be most affected by it.

"We've no interest in rowing with the DCC, we want to work with them to create a development plan that works for everyone in the city."

Asked about their involvement with DCTA by the Herald, Brown Thomas and a spokesperson for the Jervis shopping centre declined to comment.

Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke said the DCTA had valid concerns.

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