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Proposed development Blanchardstown Town Centre

Smyths Toys, Harvey Norman, TK Maxx, Lifestyle Sports try to block €450m apartment scheme

The appeals board is due to make a decision on the appeal at the end of May.

SOME OF THE country’s best known retail brands have appealed against Fingal County Council granting planning permission to contentious €450 million plans for a 971 unit apartment scheme for the Blanchardstown Town Centre site. 

Last month, Fingal County Council granted planning permission to owner of the Blanchardstown Town Centre, Goldman Sachs for the mixed use scheme comprising seven apartment blocks with one rising to 16 storeys in height. 

However, eight third party appeals have been lodged with An Bord Pleanála against the Council decision and those to appeal include Smyths Toys, TK Maxx, Woodies DIY, Harvey Norman and Lifestyle Sports. 

Applicants and Goldman Sachs entity, Blanche Retail Nominee Ltd have also lodged a first party appeal against the decision. 

Other third party appellants are listed as the Whitestown Residents and others, Labour councillor John Walsh and local resident Glen Conroy from the nearby Hillbrook Woods, Dublin 15. 

The Council granted planning permission after concluding that the scheme would contribute to consolidating Blanchardstown town centre and  provide residential development close to existing services and facilities. The scheme also includes seven commercial units, a community facility, a place of worship and a childcare facility. 

On behalf of Lifestyle Sports, Head of Sustainability, Property and LP Muriel O’Keeffe stated that “we are alarmed by the proposed reduction in customer car-parking space. It is difficult to comprehend how the applicant could consider this acceptable”. 

O’Keeffe stated that there will be an overall reduction of 525 retail car-parking post development stating “our customers will simply go elsewhere should there be such a significant reduction in car-parking at the application site”. 

O’Keeffe said: “It is difficult to comprehend how the applicant could consider this acceptable”.

Consultants for Smyths Toys, RW Nowlan & Associates stated that “it is simply unacceptable” that substandard parking provision for the existing retail units would be available for at least 2.5 years at a minimum. 

They stated: “This development should not be permitted to proceed until such a time as a significant and vast reduction in the scale of the development is undertaken.” 

On behalf of TK Maxx, Director at Tom Phillips + Associates, John Gannon contended that the proposed development “has the potential to significantly impacted upon the commercial operations of TK Maxx, on a long term basis due to the reduced and less convenient car provision and also for a prolonged temporary period arising from the construction stage”. 

On behalf of Woodies DIY, RW Nowlan & Associates have stated that planning permission “should be refused in this instance pending review and consultation by the applicant with the existing business operators with the retail park to provide a sustainable solution to development at the subject site”. 

Planning consultant for the scheme, John Spain told the council that the proposal “will provide much needed residential accommodation” and the site is considered suitable for the density, scale, massing and design of the development proposed.

As part of the plan, the applicants are proposing to sell 97 units for social housing to Fingal County Council for €44.9 million.

The appeals board is due to make a decision on the appeal at the end of May.

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