ARNOTTS has been told to dramatically reduce building heights and car-parking provision in its Northern Quarter development in Dublin by the planning appeals board.
And redesigning key aspects of the proposal means a decision on whether the project in the Abbey Street/Henry Street area will be approved is unlikely before September.
The €1bn development, which was to be completed by 2011, would see an eight-acre site transformed into a shopping and residential quarter. Almost 50 shops, a revamped Arnotts, 14 cafes, restaurants, 175 apartments and a 149-bedroom hotel are planned.
But the project could be delayed because An Bord Pleanala is unhappy with aspects. In a letter to Arnotts' planning consultants the board says that "certain information" is necessary before an appeal can be considered and that the plans must be revised.
Among the concerns is that there is too much car-parking on site, which could interfere with the operation of Luas and lead to congestion in the city.
It has instructed Arnotts that it will have to make do with the 350 already on site.
More public space must be included in the plans.
But the issue of building height is likely to cause the most problems for the developer.
The board said that the plans would be "unduly obtrusive" on the skyline and "seriously detract" from the architecture of the street.
The information must be received by June 5, and a public hearing into the scheme may be re-opened.