NEWS IN BRIEF: Fitzwilliam CP Ltd is seeking to extend the opening hours of the Arnotts car park to 24 hours, a planning restriction.
The application was lodged just days before Brown Thomas Arnotts — which is infamous for objecting to sustainable transport projects in Dublin — promised to cut emissions.
The car park originally had restrictive opening hours aimed at avoiding it becoming a commuter car park, but the hours have been extended before to match wider opening hours of Arnotts.
According to the planning application of the extension of hours Fitzwilliam CP Ltd has a 950 year sub from Fitzwilliam Real Estate Developments Ltd who is the direct leaseholder on a 950 year lease from Arnotts.
Both Fitzwillaim CP and Fitzwiliam Read Estate Developments are companies headed by property developer Noel Smyth, while Arnotts is owned by companies controlled by the Weston family.
Smyth as chairman of the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance has spearheaded fighting against walking and cycling projects in the city centre. The alliance has threatened action over interim Liffey Cycle Route works and over the planned pedestrianisation of a short section of Liffey Street Lower.
The Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance has claimed in the past to represent Arnotts and Brown Thomas before the retailers were more formally merged), Jervis Shopping Centre, the Brown Thomas Car Park, Fitzwilliam Real Estate Capital and Westfield Investments.
The planning application argues that the car park would suit tourists who are unfamiliar with the area and who might be staying in near by hotels. The access to the car park is via O’Connell Street, driving alongside northbound Luas Green Line trams before turning left before the GPO into Prince’s Street, and the exit of the car park is across the Luas Red Line tracks on Middle Abbey Street.