herald

Thursday 20 September 2018

Sports Direct left 'disappointed' by council demands

The store on North Earl Street has angered councillors
The store on North Earl Street has angered councillors

Sports Direct is disappointed at Dublin City Council's decision to get tough over changes it has made to its Dublin shop.

The sports retailer has called for a meeting with the council to discuss a compromise.

Earlier this week, the council listed 10 changes it was not happy with.

The property, in North Earl Street, Dublin 1, is the former home of Boyers department store.

Among the changes listed by the council was the lack of planning permission for an alteration to a side entrance.

The council also had concerns over signage used on the building.

Unauthorised

In particular, the council said the shop front entrance on Cathedral Street should be reinstated to its condition "prior to its unauthorised removal and alteration".

Sports Direct told the Herald that photographs of the building when it was Boyers revealed little has changed.

"Sports Direct are disappointed with Dublin City Council's decision to issue a Section 154 enforcement notice on our North Earl Street store," said a spokesman for the chain.

"We are committed to working in collaboration with the council to deliver a solution that works for all parties."

The council wants Sports Direct to foot the bill for the its investigation into the planning breaches.

This includes the cost of employees, consultants and advisers.

The original enforcement notice failed to include the word "removal" before listing the signs, which the council admitted was a clerical error.

The notice has since been corrected and re-issued.

Stance

Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party) commended the stance taken by the council, insisting that planning laws exist to stop companies coming in "like a bull in a China shop".

Cllr Cuffe said "either we have planning laws or we don't" and an international company such as Sports Direct should have known better.

"I'm pleased that Dublin City Council has taken action and I hope they will reverse the changes."

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