DCC granted themselves permission for the refurbishment / completion of the square - 4569/09
. Check out the number of 3rd party submissions to it in 'view documents' ... lot of interest. But no appeal right since it's a Part 8 application. As can be seen in the photo below, work has just started at the top of the square. Some greenery is being put in.
There seems to be no formal copy of the 'Smithfield Quarter Enhancement Scheme' available online, but there's a scanned copy of it here in the documentation with that planning app. - http://www.dublincity.ie/AnitePublicDocs/00294646.pdf
Nice to see that the Scheme is drawing attention to the significance of the surviving old streetscape at the top of Smithfield (Cobblestone pub etc.) Section 2.0 seeks to "identify, understand and conserve the smaller and finer grain of the earlier C17th/C18th building typologies with their long linear arrangement of the building plots which are embodied in the street-fronted structures at the north end of the Square/North King Street ... This historic streetscape is of huge historical and architectural import as it provides the original scale to the C18th market place."
And speaking of that very streetscape, this horror proposal for Nos. 82-83 North King Street was granted permission by Dublin City Council (never!) last year, appealed by An Taisce and has now been overturned by the Bord - http://pleanala.ie/casenum/235886.htm
It was for a replacement infill building on the site of No. 82, demolition and facade retention of the early-20th century Delaney's pub at No. 83 (which is Georgian behind the facade), then uniting the two under a whopping Supervalu-Portlaoise mansard roof wiping out pitched roofs and chimney stacks to No. 83. If you look through the drawings, it was actually not a bad scheme in terms of accommodation provision, with a design around a courtyard, but as a vision of how to develop historic streetscape grain, it was fairly horrific stuff.
The streetscape here really is of value and needs careful repair and infill, maintaining existing qualities. So much of this kind of thing was lost - on the Quays and elsewhere - that we should carefully cherish remaining areas. They are the essence of urban Dublin. The restoration of No. 81 by architects for their offices stands as an example of what can be done.
The Cobblestone pub ought to put some effort into the presentation of their building. It's in an awful state with painted brick and mismatched half-PVC / half-sash windows and lack of upkeep. Suppose they think because they're a 'cool old kip' pub it's ok to look like that .... a bit of conservation work wouldn't go astray.