HIGH street retailers fear that a new town centre in Cherrywood would take shoppers away from Dun Laoghaire and Bray.
Plans have been drawn up for three new villages and a new town centre on 264 hectares of land at the south Co Dublin location.
But the proposals have drawn objections from traditional retailers.
The outline of the scheme was put together by Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council and approved by councillors last year.
It is hoped a town centre, as well as the three villages of Priorsland, Lehaunstown and Tully, will eventually be built.
The land in question is primarily a green field at the end of the Green Luas line between the N11 and M50.
"Cherrywood has the potential to become an engine for economic growth of national, regional and local significance," the local authority said.
But local businesses have grave misgivings about the project, which has been the subject of a Bord Pleanala oral hearing.
"The amount of retail in this will seriously damage the town centres of Bray and Dun Laoghaire," Wicklow county councillor Derek Mitchell said.
"It will take away demand, which is already a problem in both places," he added.
"I agree with the retailers. I support what they say. We have this urban structure in Bray and it would be a pity to damage it.
"We already have a major shopping centre in Dundrum and one in Carrickmines," Mr Mitchell said.
Cathaoirleach of Bray Town Council, Mick Glynn, said a lot of retailers in Bray, Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock are already under pressure, without adding to their problems with a new town centre.
"I don't think it's warranted to put this huge development and extra retail space in the area," he added.
"The retailers have made numerous representations to me about it and they have made objections to Bord Pleanala."
Given the country's economic woes, the Cherrywood strategic development zone (SDZ) scheme is forecast to take many years to complete.
The plans include provision for six schools and 4,500sqm of community centres.
Dun Laoghaire council worked closely with the National Transport Authority in preparing the plan.
The land is located 16km south-east of Dublin city centre and 8km south of Dun Laoghaire.
It is flanked by the three valleys of Druid's Glen, Bride's Glen and the Cherrywood/Loughlinstown River Valley.
Ownership of the land bank is divided among a range of developers as well as the county council. Dunloe Ewart – once controlled by construction boss Liam Carroll – is among the companies involved.