Dunnes Stores fears Square Tallaght extension will put off shoppers

The supermarket foresees travel difficulties if it gets the green light...

Dunnes Stores has told the High Court that a proposed 185,800 square foot extension to The Square shopping centre in Tallaght, west Dublin, would represent a massive inconvenience to shoppers.

The country's leading supermarket is concerned that the €30m multi-storey car park would mean that people have to travel further to access shopping facilities.

The redevelopment would create 850 new parking spaces at the centre – there are 289 spaces on the existing surface car park. 

Dunnes is one of the three anchor tenants at The Square, which became Ireland's first truly modern shopping centre when it opened in 1990. It claims that a notice issued by The Square Management Ltd (SML) stating that it can redevelop the car park does not have any legal standing.

SML are joined by National Asset Property Management Ltd (which owns lands used for car parking) and extension developers Indego Ltd in seeking court declaration that Dunnes has no estate, interest or claim over the car park. 

They have argued that Dunnes is trying to frustrate redevelopment and want legal confirmation that it has no rights to use the lands, beyond a lease it entered into when The Square opened. 

Representing SML, NAPML and Indego, Gavin Ralston SC said that the crux of the matter was how the lease is interpreted under landlord and tenant car park. 

Dunnes has said that it has certain rights to the car park, despite not owning the property, by virtue of "easement by prescription", a claim which has been denied. 

Ralston also stated that travelling from the farthest corner of the current car park already represents quite a distance, and there is also an entry ramp that has to be negotiated. He noted that his clients have secured full planning permission, which Dunnes had already unsuccessfully challenged. The High Court case continues.