Grand Canal weekly market at Mount Street Bridge axed

Council says continuation of market would be ‘seriously injurious to amenity of canal’

With 16 stalls serving takeaway food, the market had proved a popular lunchtime draw for local workers. Photograph: Eric Luke

With 16 stalls serving takeaway food, the market had proved a popular lunchtime draw for local workers. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Waterways Ireland has been refused permission to continue running a weekly food market on the Grand Canal in Dublin on the grounds it would be “seriously injurious to the amenity of the canal”.

The cross-Border organisation charged with protecting and managing 1,000km of canals and rivers received a three-year planning permission in February 2014 to run the Friday market on the canal close to Mount Street bridge.

With 16 stalls serving takeaway food, it had proved a popular lunchtime draw for local workers, with its location close to Grand Canal Dock and Google’s offices.

Last January Waterways Ireland sought permission to extend its use of the location for the Friday market, saying it was in line with Dublin City Council policy to “develop local markets on underutilised sites in the city” and provided “important lunchtime recreational use”.

The organisation added that all waste generated by the traders would be brought off site and disposed of at a licensed waste facility and that it was not anticipated there would be any adverse impact on the ecology and wildlife of the canal.

Residents objected

However, almost 40 local residents and residents’ groups objected to the continuation of the market. Residents said the nature of the market, which was not a farmers’ or craft market but a collection of “fast food” outlets , was inappropriate in what was a conservation area. Some residents referenced the blocking by the stalls of views to the canal and the danger of tripping on ground level power cables. Concerns were also raised about the negative impact on wildlife, including moorhens and mallards.

Several referenced littering from overflowing bins, additional traffic and noise, and the damage caused to the grass on the canal bank.

A small number of businesses, including Donnybrook Fair on Baggot Street and Fresh Life Foods on Mespil Road, also objected to the market. They said staff and customers of the stalls tried to use the toilet facilities of local businesses, whose custom the market was affecting.

The city council said the market was contrary to its policy to “preserve, provide and improve recreational amenity and open space and green infrastructure” along the canal.

“The proposal is considered to be seriously injurious to the amenity of the canal given the limited area for the stalls to locate adjoining an already narrow pedestrian footpath, and considering the negative impact on the residential properties directly adjoining this section of the canal,” the council said.

“The proposal is therefore considered contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

Waterways Ireland said it would not appeal the council’s decision.