Alternative plans for the redevelopment of Dublin’s Moore Street and the surrounding area have been produced by the Moore Street Preservation Trust and the 1916 Relatives Alliance.
UK property group Hammerson last June applied to Dublin City Council for permission for a mixed retail, office and residential scheme on 5.5-acre plot stretching from Moore Street to O'Connell Street, formerly known as the Carlton site.
Plans unveiled on Thursday by the trust and the alliance include lands and buildings owned by Hammerson, in addition to the State-owned national monument buildings at 14-17 Moore Street.
While none of the buildings for which the trust or alliance have drawn up plans are in their ownership, they are calling on Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien and Dublin City Council planners to endorse their proposals.
James Connolly Heron, great-grandson of 1916 leader James Connolly, said it was within the power of Mr O'Brien to withhold ministerial consent for the Hammerson development because the national monument buildings were within its boundary, and a number of others within the site were in State ownership.
“The State has a lot more clout in this proposed development than what they would normally have and what we are saying is it must intervene to ensure the area is developed appropriately,” he said.
He said the plan represented an opportunity for the State to atone for the “lamentable failure to save Wood Quay”.
“On that occasion the voice of the people was silenced, the loss to the city was immeasurable and we can ill afford another Wood Quay.”
The group’s plans would see the restoration, or in some cases reinstatement, of historic buildings on the site with new green spaces and a central courtyard behind Moore Street.
The plans were “the only sensible way forward”, Mr Connolly Heron said.
“Only Hammerson now support the Hammerson plan for Moore Street”.
A spokesman for Hammerson said its plans “seek to protect and enhance Moore Street’s unique heritage including its market and connections with 1916, while at the same time delivering clear economic benefits and employment opportunities locally”.
The trust and alliance plans were produced with funding from the Ancient Order of Hibernians in the US. Sinn Féin councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha, secretary of the trust, said successive ministers have had powers to create a cultural quarter on Moore Street but had failed to do so.
The Department of Housing said plans were underway for the “respectful refurbishment” of the national monument, but noted “much of the property surrounding the national monument is in private ownership”.
The Hammerson planning application would be determined by the city council, it said. “We cannot comment on individual planning matters.”