Public hearing on College Green plaza to be held next month

An Bord Pleanála to hear submissions on €10m development on March 12th

Traffic signage on Dublin’s College Green. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Plans for a €10 million civic plaza at Dublin's College Green will finally receive a public hearing next month, 10 months since they were submitted to An Bord Pleanála.

The planning board has scheduled the hearing for March 12th, the same day taxis are due to be banned from travelling south through College Green during the morning peak hours in an attempt to alleviate severe traffic jams.

Last month, 17 Dublin Bus routes were diverted from College Green and a further 10 will be taken out of the area from next week, due to the persistent congestion in the city centre since the start of operations of the cross city Luas line last December.

An Bord Pleanála had been due to hold the hearing on Dublin City Council’s plans to build the pedestrian and cycle plaza and ban all traffic, including buses and taxis, from accessing Dame Street through College Green, last January.


However, days before it was due to begin the hearing had to be postponed because of errors in a newspaper notice published by the council last November, on the board’s instruction, detailing additional information in relation to the impact of the ban on traffic in College Green on the wider city.

The council applied to An Bord Pleanála last May for permission to build the plaza. The board had initially intended to make a decision on the application last November, before the Luas Green Line, which had previously terminated at St Stephen’s Green, began running through the city centre.

New longer Luas trams began running on the Green Line earlier this month, but have been unable to meet their scheduled journey time because of the heavy traffic in the city centre.

Although a ban on traffic from travelling to and from Dame Street through College Green will require a positive decision from An Bord Pleanála on the plaza plans, the National Transport Authority has been steadily removing traffic from the area since the start of the year.

On Monday evening, it announced that taxis would be banned from driving south through College Green from 7am to 10am from March 12th. This would stop southbound taxis from accessing either Dame Street or the Grafton Street area through College Green.

Taxis will still be able to travel nortbound towards Westmoreland Street, and as a “partial compensatory measure” the NTA said, they will also be permitted to drive along the Luas line from Dawson Street to Westmoreland Street from midnight to 6am.

More than 70 parties are expected to attend next month's public hearing, most of which, including Dublin Bus and several prominent city businesses, have raised objections to the plaza plans.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times