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Plan for new-look Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre criticised as ‘bland’ and ‘uninspired’

One objection argues that the proposal would be ‘akin to a northern English shopping centre’

Objectors have described €100 million plans to redevelop the “iconic” Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin as “bland”, “uninspired” and “generic”.

Last month, Davy entity DTDL Ltd lodged plans to redevelop the Dublin shopping centre that would see it get a complete facelift and would provide an additional 21,419sq m in gross floor area space. The redevelopment would include a reconfigured mall opening on to St Stephen’s Green and add two storeys to the landmark centre.

Outlining the need for the scheme, a consultant for DTDL has described the existing Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre as “outdated” and “underperforming”.

However, 13 objections have been lodged to date against the new scheme, with a small additional number remaining to be registered. An Taisce is also raising concerns.


In one objection, Ranelagh resident Dr Craig Connolly has contended that “this is an offensively ill-considered development proposal that threatens to raze any and all character from one of the most central, popular and prominent buildings in the city of Dublin”.

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He said that what was being proposed was extremely generic, bland, neutral, profit-maximising and devoid of character.

Dalkey resident Ellen Murphy has told the council that the proposed design “is akin to a northern English shopping centre and adds nothing to the aesthetics of the region”.

Former environment editor of The Irish Times Frank McDonald has told the council that he is no fan of the Stephen’s Green shopping centre but is “aghast at the arrogance of the applicants in this case proposing three additional floors of offices on top of an architecturally generic replacement of the shopping centre itself”.

Emmet Rogers, tenant and operator of the Tribe outlet at the centre, has told planners that “as a tenant there has not been any provision made for current paying tenants in the new development”.

He said: “There are only 8/9, 3,000+ square foot units for retail in the new development. This does leave a lot of us with no option to stay and grow our business in the new centre.”

Mr Rogers said: “We are a family-owned retail business and this could have a devastating effect on our business.”

In his objection, Kiefer Ramberg from Ossory Road in Dublin 3 contended that “the proposed plan includes replacing the iconic dome structure of the centre with an, in my opinion, bland and uninspired facade that I believe will detract from the already fading character of this city”.

A design statement lodged with the scheme stated that the plan would deliver a vibrant and commercial sustainable use that is capable of revitalising the surrounding streets; create a new city gateway and rejuvenate South King Street.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times