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Hammerson plans opposed for Moore Street

Moore Street Preservation Trust (MSPT) has released its proposal for the redevelopment of Moore Street – as part of its campaign to oppose applications for development by British property company Hammerson plc. 

Unlike Hammerson’s plans, MSPT’s plans include restoring the current buildings, newly built apartments and units for small businesses along with preserving the current outdoor market.

Moore Street contains one of Dublin’s oldest active markets, dating back to the 18th century. It also played an important role at the end of the 1916 Rising as rebels fought there and retreated to the street from the nearby GPO.

Hammerson had applied earlier this year to Dublin City Council to begin development of the 5.5 acre site behind Moore Street, Parnell Street and O’Connell Street.

That plan is to redevelop historic Moore Street with mixed retail, new residential and office buildings and an archway, and includes more demolition of properties than the MSPT can support.

The preservation trust includes relatives of those who fought in 1916 and signatories to the Proclamation.

MSPT member and former Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, said the plan is to “respect the history and heritage of the area. They also will respect the tradition of small shops and trading. It will fulfil its potential to be a cultural quarter in the city centre.” 

“What we have envisaged is a place where people would like to go and visit because of the history.”

-Former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha

“The National Museum has stated that it is one of the historic sites in the country. It is highly recognised as such. It helps to tell a story-the evacuation of the GPO, the last meeting of the provisional government, the death of The O’Rahilly. This all happened on a few small streets and laneways, which are still there, which under the development plan, would be virtually unrecognisable,” Mac Donncha continued. 

Mac Donncha has also said that the lack of footfall in recent years has contributed to the decline of the market. 

“Because of the development over the years, it has frozen the area while they just sat on it waiting for conditions of their plans. It has declined, the footfall has gone down and that has affected trading. What we have envisaged is a place where people would like to go and visit because of the history. Once you increase the footfall, you allow the street trading to happen.” 

In late July Dublin City Council sent Hammerson back to the drawing board, giving the company six months to revise its plans for the site. The application had included the demolition of 38 Henry Street for an archway to enter the site when developed: both the demolition and the archway were opposed by the council. The council is also asking for reductions to the height of the development.

The MSPT plans, meanwhile, were on display in City Hall earlier this month.  

Sinn Fein Leader, Mary Lou McDonald, has publicly supported the plans of MSPT, while Hammerson’s plans were initially welcomed by Taoiseach Michéal Martin.  

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Hammersons plans- the demolition of 38 Henry Street. Photo Credit: Alex Curran 

Hammerson’s capacity to carry out its plans after recent financial losses has been questioned. The company also sought a 15-year planning consent, which could have potentially delayed development of the site for that length of time. Dublin City Council said, “the provision of the 15-year planning consent is not considered to be acceptable and cannot be supported.”

The planning applications also included 44,000 sq. m. of office space, and would see the end of the market stalls.

The market is currently home to just 19 traders, down from 70 in the 1980s.  

Moore Street, which is one of the city’s most historic streets, has been the subject of development proposals since 1998. Earlier plans involved widespread demolition. However, houses 14-17 were declared a national monument in 2007.  

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