Sunday 9 December 2018

Council to lodge new application for College Green plaza

Vision: An artist’s impression of the previous final design for the College Green plaza in the heart of Dublin. Photo: PA
Vision: An artist’s impression of the previous final design for the College Green plaza in the heart of Dublin. Photo: PA

Rachel Farrell

A new application for the College Green plaza will be lodged in 2019, Dublin City Council has announced.

The council’s plans to develop a pedestrian plaza at College Green were shot down by An Bord Pleanála in October, after they refused permission due to traffic concerns.

The €10m plaza, unveiled by Dublin City Council in 2016, would have seen all cars banned from the heart of the city centre. It would also have placed major restrictions on the movement of buses and taxis in the area.

Assistant Chief Executive of Planning and Property Dick Brady announced this evening that Dublin City Council will not pursue judicial review proceedings following the publication of An Bord Pleanála’s review in october.

However, Mr Brady said that the council will file a new application to pursue the project in 2019.

“The City Council will move in the new year to lodge a new application to An Bord Pleanala for the plaza and traffic management measures, having regard to the board’s decision,” he said at a Dublin City Council meeting this evening.

Mr Brady added that until then, the council will work on changes to ensure the safety of those in the College Green area, and “the efficient operation of public transport”.

The decision not to pursue a judicial review was welcomed by the vast majority of councillors present at the meeting, but many called for more details to be given in relation to the proposed new plan.

Councillor Mannix Flynn welcomed the report and the “wise decision” not to proceed with the judicial review proceedings, calling for “more details” on the traffic management plan.

“I think it’s very sensible, and I think the public would want a resubmission in relation to the plaza. Nobody out there, that I spoke to, doesn’t want a plaza. They all want a plaza.”

“Everybody wants a plaza, but the issue here is with a nine-carriage tram running across our city.”

Councillor Kieran Binchy described the discussion as a “serious” one and echoed sentiments that a report should be provided to council members before going forward.

“While the oral update on this is welcome, I do agree that this is a very serious matter. 

“I think that going forward, what we should make sure of is before any further application is put in that a full written report is provided to traffic and development Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs).”

The planning board previously said the proposed civic plaza would "produce a quality public realm that would significantly enhance the amenity and attractiveness of this city centre location."

It also raised safety concerns for cyclists and pedestrians.

“In respect of cycling and pedestrians, the impacts arising from potential conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians, and of buses and emergency vehicles with both groups, are considered unacceptable from a safety point of view,” it found.

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