Speculation Heatons purchase former landmark Woodie’s site

By Mary Dennehy

THE former Woodie’s site at Belgard Square East has been sold, after the prominent plot of land went on the market in October 2016 for a post-recession knockdown price of €4.5m.

Located beside McDonalds on the Belgard Road, the 2.2 acre site has now been sold – with speculation rife that Heatons has purchased the land for a new Irish HQ and Sports Direct store.

Woodies Site03 compressor

However, Heatons, which currently operates out of its head office in the IDA Business Park on Whitestown Road, Tallaght, has neither confirmed nor denied this with The Echo.

For close to a decade, the former Woodies site has been vacant, despite a planning application passed in 2010 by South Dublin County Council - which provided for a retail and leisure complex complete with a 14-screen cinema, café/restaurant, landscaped public plaza and space for 240 cars and 200 bikes.

In 2015, the council extended the five-year planning permission until 2020, after the applicant sought an extension due to the “downturn in the economy”.

After going on the market with planning permission some 15 months ago, the sale on the site was closed in recent weeks - with members of the community now interested in finding out what the future holds.

While the arrival of IMC cinemas to The Square shopping centre raises questions around the viability of a second cinema, the new owner can apply for amendments to the original planning permission granted.

Speaking with The Echo, Tallaght Central Fianna Fail councillor Charlie O’ Connor said: “Locally, I have tried to get the new owners confirmed.

“Like others, I have heard that it is Heatons but I hope that this is properly confirmed in the coming weeks.”

He added: “This is a positive development and is being welcomed by the wider community.

“This is a first class, prime site opposite The Square and a positive development that will boost the local economy and hopefully create job opportunities.”

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