Dunnes Stores wins planning battle over new Monkstown outlet

Retail group plans to redevelop its gardening shop and cafe in the South Dublin suburb

Dunnes Stores has won a planning battle to secure permission for a new outlet at Monkstown in South Dublin.

An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission to Dunnes Stores company Better Value Unlimited to redevelop a Diarmuid Gavin-led gardening shop and cafe it opened in 2021, The Outer Spaces, in the affluent suburb.

The Monkstown plan includes an off-licence, cafe and a convenience store. It is part of a drive by Dunnes Stores to roll out smaller suburban shops in the Dublin area.

The decision by the appeals board overturns a November 2021 decision by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to refuse planning permission for the extension and refurbishment of 14/15 Monkstown Crescent after residents lodged 20 third-party objections against it. At that stage the council said it would constitute overdevelopment and would be visually overbearing.


One of those to object was the Longford Terrace Residents Association, which argued that with other Dunnes Stores outlets “surrounding” Monkstown village “there is no possible planning justification to now permit Dunnes Stores to open in a small historic village setting”.

The Dunnes Stores appeal argued that the plan would not have a negative impact upon residential amenity of residences in the surrounding area or depreciate the value of any property in the vicinity.

The appeals board granted permission after its inspector Fiona Fair said that the amendments proposed by the applicant overcame the concerns raised with respect to layout and design of the proposed extensions, including proximity to the surrounding boundaries.

Ms Fair said she did not consider the proposed development “would be out of keeping with the receiving environment, would constitute overdevelopment, or would be visually overbearing”.

On objectors’ concerns that the Dunnes proposal would negatively affect property values locally, Ms Fair said that given the zoning of the site and the long-established car sales use previously associated with it, she saw “no evidence to suggest or prove that a devaluation of adjoining property would arise”.

Ms Fair said that the scheme would not lead to an over-concentration of cafe/restaurant uses in the area and would not seriously injure the visual or residential amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times