Developer gets sign-off for bowling alley close to Gaiety Theatre

Hines plans development off Grafton Street in Dublin

Property developer Hines has been given permission to build a bowling alley to the rear of the Gaiety Theatre.

The development will consist of an eight-lane bowling alley, a bar, and an arcade-style area with other games such as darts, shuffle board, and beer pong, according to planning documents.

The new development will be located in the basement of the Chatham and King building, just off Grafton Street, and part of the bowling alley will back on to the rear flank wall of the theatre, the plans show. The Gaiety Theatre is a protected structure, but Hines’s planning application said that the bowling alley will be “acceptable in terms of impact on architectural and cultural heritage of the area”.

A Dublin City Council planners’ report on the application stated that amusement and leisure complexes are permissible under the zoning rules of that part of the city, which aim “to sustain life within the centre of the city through intensive mixed-use development”. Therefore, the planners’ report concluded, “the principal of the use is considered acceptable”.


The planner also noted that, given the zoning, the development “provides a variety of uses vertically throughout the building such as retail, offices and residential. The wide variety of uses within this building contributes to the vibrancy of the city centre.”

Chatham and King consists of 10,500sq m (113,000sq ft) of retail and office space and six residential units. Its tenants include retailers such as Zara, Qualtrics and H&M, as well as Paul Sheeran Jewellers.

The report did express some concerns about the fact that “bowling alleys can give rise to high levels of operational noise” which can be transmitted through the building from the sound of balls being dropped and pin-setting machinery.

The council, in granting permission, insisted that, as per the findings of a sound engineers’ report provided by Hines, “mitigation would be necessary to reduce structural noise transmission”.

The council asked that “further acoustic testing should take place to review the effectiveness of the noise mitigation measures in situ prior to commencement of development”.

It also stated that “prior to commencement of development, the hours of operation shall be agreed in writing with the planning authority”.

No filings with the council have yet indicated what agreement has been reached on the specifics of the mitigation measures or the alley’s planned opening hours.

Both Hines and the Gaiety Theatre were contacted for comment, but none was forthcoming prior to publication.