File image of a sign above the door of a Woodie's DIY superstore and garden centre. Alamy Stock Photo

Owner of Woodies DIY object to Dublin Metrolink over 'unacceptable' impact on business

It’s been argued that the proposed works will permanently damage trade and severely impact the customer experience at the store.

THE GRAFTON GROUP plc-owned Woodies DIY is objecting to the draft Railway Order for the planned Dublin MetroLink over the impact it will have on a Woodies DIY outlet in Swords in north Dublin.

The Grafton Group operates a Woodies DIY outlet that includes a garden centre and a 170 car space car park adjoining the Seatown roundabout in Swords.

In a 22 page objection against the MetroLink, planning consultant for Woodies DIY, Alan Whelan states that the current Metrolink proposal “will have an unacceptable impact on businesses such as Woodies”.

Whelan of O’Connor Whelan planning consultancy stated that this can be avoided by a simple re-alignment of the scheme at the location.

The MetroLink scheme is to comprise 16 new stations running from Swords to Charlemont, will carry 53 million passengers per annum and An Bord Pleanála has confirmed that it received 318 submissions on the draft Railway Order.

Whelan has told An Bord Pleanála that the proposed route of Metrolink will have an unacceptable impact on the operation of the Woodies Store, so much so that it may un-necessarily affect the viability and practical use of retail at the location and the practicality of running a business there “will be compromised for a number of years, or indeed permanently”.

Whelan states the current planned route “cannot be decided on until a cost benefit analysis has been undertaken, including an assessment of the impact on existing businesses and development sites”.

He states that “this analysis should have been undertaken and provided to all stakeholders, which it has not”.

Whelan states that the basis for the objection is the length of the construction period, the negative impact on access to the Woodies site; the negative impact on car-parking for the Woodies store and its external garden centre.

Whelan states that the proposed works are for an unnecessarily long, will permanently damage trade and will severely impact the customer experience at the store.

He points out that the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) lodged with the scheme indicates that the duration of works at the ‘Woodie’s Satellite site’ will be four and a half years.

Whelan states that while the location of the store per se will not be affected by the acquisition of lands, the location and extent of the external garden centre of the store will be severely curtailed to such a degree that it will have to be relocated on the site.

Whelan pointed out that the Railway Order for Metro North proposed a route on the central reservation of the Swords Rd which could have been constructed with minimal impact.

Whelan stated that the current proposed MetroLink on private and commercial lands will significantly add to the cost of the scheme due to unnecessary land acquisition costs.

He states that the proposed draft Railway Order will result in the loss of around 70 car-parking spaces because of the temporary and permanent Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of lands.

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the draft Railway Order in May.

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