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Sunday 22 October 2017

Traffic fears see €150m Liffey Valley plan refused

An artist’s impression of the extended Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, which was refused planning permission
An artist’s impression of the extended Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, which was refused planning permission

Plans for a €150m extension for the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre that would have delivered 450 jobs have been refused as it would worsen congestion on Dublin's M50.

This follows An Bord Pleanala refusing planning permission for the extension, which would have increased the size of the centre by 50pc and included what would have been Ireland's first 2,500-seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena.

Up to 450 full-time and part-time jobs were to be created upon completion, as well as 225 construction jobs during the development phase.

Congestion

However, the appeals board refused planning permission after ruling that the proposal would cause "serious traffic congestion" in the area.

The board stated that, on the basis of information submitted, it could not be satisfied that the proposal would not have a negative impact on the operation and safety of the strategic road network in the area, in particular the M50 and the N4.

The board concluded that the proposal is premature, pending the resolution of traffic problems in the area, and that it was contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.

In refusing planning permission, the appeals board has upheld the concerns contained in appeals against the South Dublin County Council decision to grant permission by An Taisce and the Moriarty Group, which operates three SuperValu supermarkets at Balbriggan, Skerries and Palmerstown and two hotels.

In its appeal, An Taisce's Heritage Officer Ian Lumley argued that "this is a car-based retail development adding significantly to an already problematic car-dependent location".

Mr Lumley said yesterday that the ruling "is a progressive decision by An Bord Pleanala".

"It is a recognition of the mounting traffic congestion on the M50 and emphasises the need to move away from car-based development to development based on public transport access," he said.

Mr Lumley said that he cannot see how the developers can resolve the traffic problems.

"Bad planning never goes away. It was the wrong site for a shopping centre before and will remain so for decades," he said.

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