DRAFT GUIDELINES for the size of new shopping centres that were published yesterday do not represent the death knell of smaller towns and village centres, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has insisted.
They follow a commitment by the Government to give consideration to removing existing limits on the size of new superstores and out-of-town shopping centres as part of the EU-IMF bailout agreed last year.
The main aspects of the draft guidelines published by Mr Hogan yesterday are:
- A rise in the size of allowable retail floorspace from 3,500sq m to 4,000sq m in the Dublin area; A rise in the size of allowable retail floorspace from 3,000sq m to 3,500sq m in the regional cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford;
- The retail warehouse floorspace cap is to be maintained at 6,000sq m, but with exemptions allowed in the numerous National Spatial Strategy gateway cities and towns;
- Petrol filling station shop floorspace cap is to be maintained at 100sq m irrespective of location.
- Elsewhere in the State, the limit remains at 3,000sq m.
Commenting on the new draft guidelines yesterday, a spokesman for Mr Hogan pointed out that the previous limit in the Dublin area, that of 3,500sq m, applied to the Greater Dublin Area – a geographical area including parts of Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. However, he said the new guidelines would increase the size to 4,000sq m only in Dublin. In Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, the proposed cap is to be 3,000sq m. “That is actually a drop in the allowable size in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow,” he said.
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