Thursday 23 April 2009

Oral hearing into Carlton cinema site

THE PROPOSED redevelopment of the Carlton cinema site on Dublin’s O’Connell Street is about preventing the “hollowing-out” of the city centre and saving tens of thousands of jobs, An Bord Pleanála heard yesterday.

The planning body is holding an oral hearing on the €1.25 billion mixed use proposal by developers Chartered Land.

The “Dublin Central” plan is opposed by bodies including An Taisce, the National Graves Association and relatives of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence.

Witness for the developers, commercial property consultant Neil Bannon, said the city centre’s position as the premier shopping destination was under constant erosion from shopping centres on the outskirts of Dublin and further afield.

Retailers were queuing up to open stores in the city centre but the extent of prime shopping space in Dublin was “quite limited”, he said.

He said this development was “the most significant retail opportunity in this generation” and was a “truly unique opportunity”.

The 5.5 acre plan includes a John Lewis department store, 100 shops, 64 apartments, 17 restaurants and a “park in the sky” on the roof of the development.

Objectors will have an opportunity to cross examine the developers later today or tomorrow.

Irish Times

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