HAMMERSON and Irish Life, the co-owners Ilac Shopping Centre in Dublin, have appealed a decision by Dublin City Council to refuse permission for a 24-hour casino at the mall.
During the summer, Hammerson and Irish Life submitted a planning application to convert an existing vacant retail unit in the Ilac Centre. The unit had previously been occupied by clothes brand Jack & Jones.
The re-purposing of the two-storey unit would have seen a casino and ancillary “family entertainment” at the ground and first-floor levels. Casino operator Expo was to operate the venue.
“The proposed ‘casino’ use – which is taken to mean gambling – is not listed as a land use in the Development Plan,” noted Dublin City Council’s deputy planning officer in a September report recommending that the plans be rejected.
“There are serious concerns that permitting a casino at this location would be setting a precedent for such a non-retail use within Category 1-designated streets, the primary shopping streets in the city centre,” the officer added.
“The applicant states it is the intention that the casino would be open 24-hours a day,” the officer said. “There are concerns that this would result in loitering and anti-social behaviour on Coles Lane and the surrounding streets at night. This would neither protect or enhance the amenity of neighbouring residents and occupiers and would detract from the designated conservation area.”
Hammerson, which also co-owns the Dundrum Town Centre, owns a swathe of land in the capital that it plans to transform under its so-called Dublin Central project.
The €1.25bn scheme will have frontage onto O’Connell Street, Parnell Street, Moore Street and Henry Street. It will include a mix of workspace, residential units, hotel space, restaurants and retail outlets. Hammerson appointed a design team for the scheme in August.
Yesterday, Hammerson said that at a group level, 41pc of its fourth quarter rent has already been received. In the UK, 38pc has been collected, while 33pc has been collected in Ireland. Hammerson said that its level of fourth quarter collections is higher than at the same point following the June quarter date across all of the group’s territories. It also confirmed the sale of the bulk of its 50pc stake in its Via business.