Additional info sought for The Square development

Additional info sought for The Square development

By Mary Dennehy

SOUTH Dublin County Council has requested additional information in relation to a planning application lodged for a significant extension to the southern side of The Square.

As reported by The Echo in early January, proposed plans were lodged for a 9,956 sq m extension to the southern-side of the Tallaght shopping centre, which would include six new retail units, a food hall, restaurants and public plaza.

The Square Southern Development compressor

An artist’s impression The Square Southern Development

A decision by the council was due by February 19, however, planners are seeking additional information concerning the public plaza element of the development.

The planning application in question provides for an extension to the existing Level 2 mall on the southern side (footbridge-end) of The Square, which would include six retail units.

If the application is passed, the Level 2 extension would also be home to a food hall/market hall area for multiple restaurant/food and beverage type uses.

The proposed mall extension, which will take over 140 surface car-parking spaces on Level 2, is a two-storey development, with access from the top storey into the shopping centre provided for.

An existing parking area to the east of the proposed Level 2 extension is to be reconfigured as part of the plans.

The application also provides for the creation of a new Level 3 entrance and new public plaza to replace the roof car park.

Within this space, two buildings will also accommodate nine restaurant/bar units and associated outdoor seating, with one side looking out over the Dublin Mountains and the other, the public plaza – which will lie between the new restaurant buildings and the shopping centre.

The existing entrance at the cinema will remain, with a proposed second entrance providing access to the centre from the new public plaza – which would see customers entering the existing Level 3 mall across from Le Croissant D’Or.

While South Dublin County Council concluded that the proposed extension to the existing building is “considered to be acceptable in principle”, county planners are seeking additional information in relation to the public plaza.

In its decision, the council said: “The additional retail elements would be acceptable from a policy perspective due to the site context and desire to maintain Tallaght as the primary urban centre in the county.

“The proposal to include a public plaza is also welcomed however, there are concerns in terms of the usability of the outdoor space due to the fact that the plaza would be elevated and could potentially be affected by exposure to traffic noise from the N81 and exposure to wind.

“There are also a significant number of existing trees located where the extension would be constructed.

“Therefore it is recommended that additional information regarding noise and wind is submitted by the applicant as well as more details concerning trees so that the planning authority can make an informed decision.”

According to the council report, one submission was received in relation to the planning application.

The submission was lodged by Dunnes Stores, which cites loss of existing parking, creation of additional parking requirement, traffic safety issues and traffic congestion among its concerns.

The council said that the issues raised in the third-party submission have been considered in accessing the planning application.

If the southern-side extension is passed it would pave the way for a 250,000 sq m extension, which would also include a previously permitted extension to the northern side of the Tallaght town centre.

This €100m Square expansion scheme investment would generate 500 jobs during construction and 250 permanent jobs once complete.

The applicant, Oak Square Retails Car Park Limited, has six months to submit the further information being sought.

To read the full report visit the planning section on the South Dublin County Council Website.

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