John Gormley: 'intervention'

Environment minister John Gormley may intervene to overturn a rezoning proposal which would significantly increase the level of retail space permitted at a site in south Co Dublin.

The Department of the Environment confirmed it would review a motion in the draft Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County development plan to rezone a retail site in Carrickmines before considering any "possible intervention" by the minister. The proposal to redesignate Park Village in Carrickmines from its current 'neighbourhood centre' status to a larger 'district' retail centre was passed by a majority of councillors recently. The move would effectively increase the level of retail space permitted at the site from about 4,000 sq m to 25,000 sq m.

A submission on the draft plan lodged by Gormley recommended that the council reconsider the move, which the Green party leader described as "excessive".

Since taking office in 2007 Gormley has used his powers to overturn zoning decisions made by councillors in counties Mayo, Monaghan and Waterford.

Labour councillor Lettie McCarthy, who voted against the rezoning at Carrickmines, has called on Gormley to intervene and overturn this latest proposal. "I believe it is nothing short of irresponsible to create an over supply of retail at a time of downturn in the economy," she said.