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Families' plan for Georgian city move

TAX breaks and creating pedestrian-friendly walking spaces are proposed to encourage families and young people to move into Dublin city centre.

Planning rules should be relaxed to allow specialist shops, including delicatessens and bookshops, to open around Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square, which would encourage people to set up home in the city's South Georgian core, a city council report says.

The moves are needed because as many as one in five properties around Merrion Square is vacant, and the office market is "in retreat".


The Future of the Georgian Core report says there is now a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to deliver homes for people, including families and workers keen to experience city-centre living.

"Despite a doubling of its population in the last 15 years, the inner city continues to remain the home of extensive pockets of dereliction and underperforming urbanism. Attracting middle-income families back into the heart of the city would assist in consolidating often fragile residential living elsewhere in the city centre and inner city," it says.

While the South Georgian core extends across much of the south side, the study focused on Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square and adjoining streets.

Among the recommendations are changes to the zoning to allow more residential use and opening of specialist businesses, reducing development levies to encourage conversion of buildings for residential use, and tax breaks for refurbishment schemes.

The report says the buildings are "arguably Dublin's greatest architectural and urban design set-pieces", adding that it is also an "oddly underperforming urban asset".

"Very few people actually live in the south Georgian core and its attraction as a desirable office market has steadily been eroded in recent years," the report says.