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Text of Cobblestone Submission to An Bord Pleanála

18 January 2022


Cobblestone

This is the text of our submission in response to the appeal by the developer of the Cobblestone site at North King Street to An Bord Pleanála. If you would like your name added, please let us know by Monday 24th January at marie@mariesherlock.ie 

 

Re: Planning Appeal 312298, DCC ref. 3617/21

77-80 King Street North, Smithfield, Dublin 7

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to oppose the planning appeal lodged by C+W O’Brien Architects on behalf of Marron Estates Limited in respect of the proposed development at 77-80 King Street North (the Cobblestone pub and neighbouring buildings).

I refer to my observation lodged on 27th October 2021 to Dublin City Council in respect of the planning application (copy attached). While I acknowledge that the architect has made efforts to address some of Dublin City Council’s concerns expressed in the Planner’s Report dated 29th November 2021, I remain vociferously opposed to the proposed development. The ad hoc nature of the proposed changes, and lack of detail, are not sufficient for ABP to reverse the decision of DCC on this very important site. In fact, the effect of proposing solutions in this way is to avoid further scrutiny by DCC of amendments they did not have sight of at the time of their decision and therefore circumvent proper planning procedures.

I would like to address the reasons for refusal given by DCC, and the responses contained in the appeal:

  1. Substantial over-development of a highly sensitive site: the reduced proposal offers some improvements, however the building would still be “overbearing and significantly out of scale and character with the prevailing architectural context”. In addition, the fundamental point I made in my observation about the over-concentration of hotels with the North Inner City still stands, and the revised proposals do not even give details of the number of hotel rooms proposed under the responses.
  2. Inadequate design response to this prominent and sensitive corner site: the reduced proposal is nowhere near sufficient to address this point. It makes no attempt to deal with the many issues raised by DCC in relation to design, for instance the plan’s “failure to respond to the existing urban grain and architectural design quality”. What is left of the original Georgian streetscape of North King Street will be even more compromised by the additional storeys towering over nos. 78, 79 and 80.
  3. Serious injury to the amenities of adjoining residents: Once again, the reduction in scale is the only response offered to this point, which does not in any way address issues with inadequate setback from site boundaries.
  4. Proposed development is contrary to the Development Plan provision in respect of culture in the city, and the proper planning and sustainable development of the area: We cannot lose sight of the fact that the Cobblestone is a hugely important cultural facility in our city. Wrapping a hotel around this existing venue will totally change the cultural character of this cherished institution.

It is inappropriate for the developer to offer half-baked solutions to the major issues highlighted by DCC and expect the decision to be overturned. These proposed amendments by the architect are not sufficient to base a decision on. I am in full agreement with DCC on their reasons for refusal, and support the decision to refuse planning permission.

Yours faithfully,

Senator Marie Sherlock