The Retail Planning Guidelines (April 2012), published on 1 May 2012, provide for the following caps on net convenience retail floorspace:
- 4,000 square metres in the four Dublin local authority areas (Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin and Dun-Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council)
- 3,500 square metres in the four other main cities of Cork, Limerick/Shannon, Galway and Waterford
- 3,000 square metres in the remainder of the State
The Guidelines, which have statutory effect, apply to new retail stores or extensions to existing stores. They update and replace the Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities (January 2005) which had set the convenience floorspace cap at 3,500 square metres within the Dublin area and 3,000 square metres within the remainder of the State.
The Guidelines were published as a response to a condition of the EU-IMF Programme that the government conduct a study on the economic impact of eliminating the cap on the size of retail premises with a view to enhancing competition and lowering prices for consumers. The study concluded that that a substantial increase in or removal of the retail caps would produce mixed results and that careful usage of the caps was appropriate in promoting both competiveness and vitality in the retail sector.
The Guidelines are accompanied by a non-statutory Retail Design Manual which is intended to assist both planning authorities and prospective applicants in relation to design issues.
Contributed by Ruth Sheridan.
Back to Legal News