The Square Wins High Court Case Against Dunnes Stores

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The Square Shopping Centre here in Tallaght, won its case over Dunnes Stores objections to a 200,000 square foot €30m extension on the existing surface north car park.

The Square Management Ltd, National Asset Property Management Ltd (which owns the car park area) and the extension developers Indego, sought declarations in relation to Dunne’s claimed legal rights to the car park area.

Dunnes said that, apart from inconvenience to its shoppers, it had acquired certain rights to the car park by virtue of “easement by prescription” which allows the supermarket use it without having to own the property; That claim was denied.

Mr Justice Barrett found the lease for the centre entitled the landlord to carry out development on the north car park and Dunnes did not enjoy an irrevocable right for its customers to park there. Dunnes also did not have an easement of right of way over the car park area.

The judge declined to grant reliefs sought by Dunnes but granted a number sought by the plaintiff companies including that it (Dunnes) did not have a right to use the land, for car parking or otherwise, beyond what was stated in the lease.

The implementation of the entire project will create over 300 construction jobs and add c.200,000 sq.ft. of retail space that will employ over 400 new jobs on completion. The redevelopment will also create 850 new parking spaces at the centre, as opposed to the current 289, but Dunnes are unhappy with plans to put the extension as they say its shoppers will be inconvenienced and have to travel a further distance as result of the new extension.