Local residents appeal decision to approve redevelopment of The Tramyard
A company part-owned by U2’s lead singer Bono has been accused of trying to create a new Temple Bar in the centre of Dalkey over its controversial plans to redevelop a former tram terminus in the centre of the south Dublin village.
Local residents as well as Dalkey Community Council have lodged an appeal against the recent decision of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to approve the proposed redevelopment of The Tramyard on Castle Street in Dalkey by development firm, Clós Nua.
However, the company, which is one-third owned by Bono who lives in nearby Killiney, is also appealing the ruling to An Bord Pleanála as it was required to scale back its plans for the site.
Clós Nua, which is also one-third owned by Belfast-born hotelier and property developer Paddy McKillen Snr, wants to demolish most of the existing buildings apart from protected structures in the tramyard in order to develop a four-storey over-basement building consisting of a bar/restaurant, café, health centre, retail kiosks and cultural spaces as well as offices and a public plaza.
It is appealing the decision requiring it to omit the most controversial element of the development – a pavilion and roof garden on the top floor – because of the council’s concern about its impact on adjoining properties and architectural character of the heritage village.
The developers claim the pavilion, which can provide seating for over 110 people, is an integral part of the project and a focal point of the scheme.
They pointed out that they had already reduced the area of the top floor by 55pc to address concerns raised by council planners.
The company claims the redevelopment of the tramyard will “add to the vibrancy of the town centre in Dalkey and provide the community with many amenities currently lacking from the town”.
Clós Nua bought the 0.8 acre site for a reported €3m in 2018.
It was formerly the location of the Tramyard Café and a food, antique and bric-a-brac market as well as hosting a number of cultural events.
However, several residents from St Patrick’s Road in Dalkey, who have appealed the decision to approve the project, have expressed disbelief at how plans “so preposterous in size and height, so unwarranted in terms of local needs and so unsuitable to its environment in a heritage setting” could be lodged.
One resident, Gerard Irvine, an architect, said: “The whole prospect of a new ‘Temple Bar’ in the centre of our town by single-minded developers who do not live in the immediate locality and wish for commercial reasons to make Dalkey a ‘destination’ has little merit.”
The residents claim Dalkey is already adequately served by pubs, restaurants and shops with limited parking facilities, although they suggested the tramyard would be a suitable site for a hotel which is lacking in the village.
The chairperson of Dalkey Community Council, Dr Susan McDonnell, claimed the developers had made no attempt to address the council’s request to redesign the development.
Most people would conclude there will be a significant visual impact on this historic town and it will dwarf the surrounding buildings, said Dr McDonnell.
She said it was also “totally unrealistic and unacceptable” for the developers to propose a scheme of such size without providing any parking provision.
A ruling on the appeals to An Bord Pleanála is due by the end of May.