Developer drops planning appeal over hotel at Cobblestone pub

Marron Estates Ltd had appealed decision of Dublin City Council to refuse permission for hotel at historic pub

Developers behind plans to build a hotel surrounding the Cobblestone bar in Smithfield, which were refused by Dublin City Council last year, have dropped their appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

Marron Estates Ltd had applied to the council for a nine-storey 114-bedroom, hotel at 77-80 North King Street, which includes the Cobblestone.

As a protected structure, the pub would have been retained as part of the proposed development, but an outdoor area and the pub’s Backroom venue would have been demolished.

The council last November refused permission on grounds largely relating to the size and impact on historic structures.


The company appealed the decision to the board and earlier this year proposed a scaled back development of seven-storeys and “the retention of the entire Cobblestone pub over all floors at basement, ground and first and second floors” according to planning documents.

The removal of the back room area of the pub was a controversial component of the original scheme and was also a specific ground of refusal by the council.

The council said the loss of the back room - which has developed as a space for teaching, rehearsal and performance for traditional music - would be contrary to the city’s development plan provisions in respect of culture in the capital.

Marron Estates proposed to relocate the back room to “a purpose-built performing space contained within the retained historic yard to the rear of the site”.

However, it has this week withdrawn its appeal of the council’s refusal. Marron Estates could not be contacted for comment and it is not yet known if a fresh application will be made for the site.

The hotel plan had proved contentious: almost 700 objections were lodged with the council; an online petition, Save the Cobblestone, gathered almost 35,000 signatures; and rallies in support of the pub were held. Objectors to the proposals include Steve Wall, a founding member of The Stunning and The Walls; the Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald; the Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett; and from the Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe and TD Neasa Hourigan.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times