The French sports retailer Decathlon has reached agreement with Dublin City Council to purchase land beside IKEA to open one of their new stores in Ireland .
The site will be sold for €4.5 million once all planning and legal matters have been completed. The deal requires the agreement of Dublin City Councillors who will initially discuss the matter at the Tuesday meeting of the North West Area Committee and then at the May or June City Council meeting.
Welcoming the Investment, Cllr Paul McAuliffe said that this kind of ‘big box’ retail would deliver more local jobs for people in the area and any investment in Ballymun is very welcome, however I am concerned that more is not being done by the City Council to attract investment to the old shopping centre site which is due to be demolished in October and rebuilt with new retail facilities. It’s hard for people in Ballymun to welcome good news like this when at the core of our town lies a derelict shopping centre .
I understand from planners that this kind of big box development is not suitable on the main street of a town however we need to be more proactive in attracting clothing retailers and others so that we can provide decent shopping facilities for people in the Ballymun area.
Poor planning decisions like Fingal County Council’s decision to build Charlestown shopping centre on the outskirts of both Finglas and Ballymun have undermined the potential to bring shops to urban villages. However the Ballymun local area plan allows for 2000 new homes in the area and this coupled with the existing population should mean that Ballymun is an attractive place to open new retail businesses.
I want the City Council to do more to attract this sort of retail and to deliver for local people who have been made promises about a shopping centre for more than two decades.