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Newmarket Square plans up in the air

The Liberties’ Newmarket Square is set to undergo a major redevelopment. Last years plans were revealed for the construction of the new offices and apartments. However, recently they have hit a roadblock.

An Taisce, the national heritage group, has objected to the redevelopment plans and has sent its objection to An Bord Pleanála. They are concerned by the historic value of various buildings across the Dublin 8 site which will have to be demolished for the redevelopment plans to take shape.

One of the buildings which An Taisce wants to save is a former pub located on the corner of Brabazon Place. It has gone through various owners and names including Grays of Newmarket Square and The Red Lion. But it has not been in operation for many years. Kevin Duffy of the Dublin City Association for An Taisce told The Liberty, “We objected to the demolition of the pub because it is a historic local pub going back for generations. It was also the local of the Dublin character ‘Bang Bang’, who lived at adjacent Mill Lane.”

Under the Dublin City Development Plan 2016, the site is a ‘designated conservation area’ even though it has not been occupied for many years. An Taisce is hoping that the plans will be changed so many of the historic structures will remain in place while the developmental work is happening.

One of the suggestions in An Taisce’s report is to make the abandoned pub into a new shop.

An Taisce said in their appeal, “regeneration of this large site with frontage onto Newmarket and St. Luke’s Avenue, and close to the early 1700s former St. Luke’s Church, in a mixed-use, higher density idiom is welcome in principle. However, the redevelopment proposals are very comprehensive in nature, involving complete site clearance at the subject site and also at two adjacent sites on the south side of Newmarket concurrently seeking development permission by the applicant. No existing structures would be retained anywhere across these three sites.”

It is widely recognised that Dublin is suffering from a housing and accommodation shortage and that is part of the reason that authorities feel the need to develop Newmarket Square.

 

An Taisce acknowledges that Newmarket Square needs to be redeveloped but they feel that this could happen without the demolition of certain historic buildings. “There is an opportunity to reinstate this interesting historic urban space, Brabazon Place, which is achievable without major effects on the proposed plans.” In their appeal, they went on to say that now is the time to iron out these problems before the building work starts.

When plans for Newmarket were first announced, a web page was set up online with the aim of getting 5,000 signatures to protest the development. At the time of writing, it had amassed more than 3,050 signatures. The title of the page is ‘Save Newmarket Square from greedy developers’. An Bord Pleanála’s decision on the appeal from An Taisce is set to be announced in the coming months.

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