Council not backing down over Newbridge's 'Great wall of Dunnes'

KCC seeks clarification on further info

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Council not backing down over Newbridge's  'Great wall of Dunnes'

The "Great Wall of Dunnes" from the Retail Park side with Newbridge Shopping Centre seen in the background. Photo: Tony Keane

Kildare County Council is still standing over its demand that Dunnes Stores remove the ‘Great Wall of Dunnes’ in Newbridge.

Last Friday (March 31), the local authority asked the supermarket to address the “serious concerns” it had about the wall between Dunnes Stores and Newbridge Retail Park.

The council said the wall “may endanger public safety by reason of a traffic hazard”.

It also said it reduced connectivity between the shopping centre and the adjacent retail park.

In response to the local authority’s previous demand for further information, the supermarket said the shopping centre got planning permission as a standalone unit.

It said planning permission had never been sought for a vehicular access/pedestrian link to Newbridge Retail Park.

KCC had asked the store owners to provide details of the reinstatement of the gap as part of a planning application for the revamp of the Shopping Centre.

The concrete block wall was built in September 2015, just days before the neighbouring SuperValu store opened.

Appeals were made for it to be taken down, but Dunnes stood firm.

Cllr Paddy Kennedy and fellow local councillors called for it to be removed, saying the structure was not in line with the local area plan.

He said the access point had been open for 14 years prior to it being blocked up.

A Facebook page was set up to campaign for the destruction of the wall.

Dunnes contended the majority of the adjacent retail park was vacant and used for bulky retailing goods only when he gap was open.

It said more traffic was generated more units were occupied and this is why it was closed.

A final decision on the plans still has to be made.