Dublin City Council has issued a notification of intent to grant planning permission for the Dublin Central shopping scheme.

The scheme, developed by Chartered Land, will now go through the final stages of consultation before permission is granted - likely to be in the coming weeks - paving the way for development to begin.

Dublin Central was given a major boost in November last year when John Lewis signed
to anchor the scheme with a 250,000 sq ft (23,225 sq m) department store.
The Dublin store, which is to be the scheme's only anchor, will be John Lewis's first outside
the UK.

Chartered Land chief executive Dominic Deeney said the developer will step up its leasing campaign in 2009 and is in talks with retailers, despite the tough trading conditions.

He said: “We've already had a lot of interest. I suspect many retailers are waiting to see how Christmas goes. We're not in a bubble here and we're not immune from what's happening in the world.”

The scheme will be fashion-led, with the four medium sized units likely to be taken by high profile clothing brands.

If approved, Dublin Central will house more than 100 retail units on a 1.7 million sq ft (157,930 sq m) plot in the centre of the Irish capital, on the site of the former Carlton cinema.

Chartered Land first submitted its application in April last year. The project is due to be completed in 2013.