McDonald appeals permission for €500m Dublin city centre redevelopment

Hammerson plan covers 5.5 acres between O’Connell Street and Moore Street

Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald has emerged as one of nine parties to lodge appeals to An Bord Pleanála against permission for a €500 million transformation of central Dublin.

Last month, Dublin City Council granted planning permission to UK property giant Hammerson for twin applications for the redevelopment of a 5.5-acre plot stretching from O'Connell Street to Moore Street.

The applications include 79 build-to-rent apartments and hotel, retail, restaurant, cafe and cultural uses.

Ms McDonald has lodged appeals against both planning permissions.

Others to lodge appeals include street trader Peter Hickey; the Moore Street Preservation Trust; Amanda Higgins and others; Patrick Cooney on behalf of the Save 16 Moore Street Committee; Troy Family Butchers; Míchéal MacDonncha, and the Dublin One Business Alliance.

The applicant, Dublin Central GP Ltd, has also lodged a first-party appeal against condition(s) attached to the grant of permission.

Sensitive parts

In June last year, Hammerson lodged three applications for the mixed retail, office and residential scheme on the city block formerly known as the Carlton site. A decision on the third application has yet to be made by the City Council.

The council planner’s report which recommended a grant of permission for the main scheme found that the most historically and architecturally sensitive parts of the site are nominated for retention.

The council said it welcomed the application for a comprehensive mixed use development as part of the wider Dublin Central Masterplan and noted that the wider redevelopment and regeneration of the site is supported by a range of national, regional and local policies.

‘Not sympathetic’

In her original objection, Ms McDonald argued that "the proposed development is not sympathetic to nor does it recognise in full the opinion of the National Museum of Ireland that Moore Street is 'the most important historic site in modern Irish history'."

Ms McDonald argued that the “application does not protect or preserve all of the 1916 elements on site as it intends to demolish a part of the last Headquarters of the 1916 Provisional Government of the Irish Republic”.

In a follow-up objection lodged with the council, Ms McDonald said “the unnecessary demolition of the Moore Street streetscape, location of the last battle of the Easter Rising, should not be permitted.”

In his joint appeal with fellow authorised street trader, Bridget Mooney, Peter Hickey has told the appeals board that the two have had their pitches on Henry Place for many years.

They say: “There is a long history of street trading in inner city Dublin and as individual traders without a real voice we look to An Bord Pleanála to protect and preserve our positions in Henry Place and prevent big business from brushing us aside.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times