Ballymun Shopping Centre a hot topic on the doorsteps!

by Rose Barrett
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Local election candidates can expect to be vetted about the lack of any progress on a shopping centre for Ballymun.

The failure of Dublin City Centre (DCC) to deliver any concrete plans for a centre, has infuriated just under 22, 000 residents in the Northside community.

One angry group of residents told the Dublin Gazette.”There is a large plot of land set aside for Ballymun to build a shopping centre of mixed shopping and apartments with many other options, for example, something similar to the Pavilion in Swords.

“The council demolished the old centre, and promised to build a new one. But did they take it seriously? It feels like they just covered it and did not provide any constructive ideas to the public with the timeline,” said the group who feel that no one has been held culpable for the miserable failure to deliver a retail outlet in Ballymun.

The group voiced their utter frustration with the lack of information from DCC, and its refusal to grant permission to another applicant in 2023. It’s been ten years since DCC committed to delivering a shopping centre in Ballymun but as yet, no tenants nor plans confirmed, and no progress has even been agreed, the group claimed.

Cllr Keith Connolly (FF) stated that last year, Dublin City Council voiced the subject of the old shopping-centre site in the heart of Ballymun, and hoped to see what interest there might be.

“Sadly, I understand none of the proposals returned were deemed suitable. Hopes for a new modern shopping centre have been talked about for 25 years and a masterplan was drawn up.”

“The village badly needs the centre, it badly needs investment and some commercial activity,” said Cllr Connolly, who noted: “DCC appointed DNG to market the site and seek expressions of interest but the response was very poor. Not what DCC wanted, so it has gone back out for a second round of interest.”

On a positive note, Cllr Connolly said: “Interest rates are now more stable, it’s a better landscape for investors. DCC is making soundings for other bodies as well, to public bodies, such as the HSE, CDETB, etc. The hope is that it would be a mixed development, retail and commercial, state bodies and perhaps some housing – much like the Charlestown SC which has apartments on top of the shopping units.”

Cllr Connolly also noted the DCC investigated the temporary usages for say, Farmer’s Market, an ice rink or visiting carnivals, circus, etc.

DCC stated it continues to consider all options in relation to securing the successful development of all or part of the shopping centre site in Ballymun.  The LDA has recently expressed an interest in discussing the site and DCC will meet the LDA soon to explore their interest in the site.

 There are approx. 4,100 housing units, with a population of 21, 626 recorded in Ballymun in  2016 – and many are literally screaming for a central shopping centre. Election candidates, beware! 

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