Reply To: Smithfield, Dublin

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Interesting comments !!, however the point remains that no one on this web page has given a coherent or intelligent critique stating why this development should be allowed to proceed.

Planning permission should not be granted just because a developer is willing to spend a lot of money (and the sums we are talking about are HUGE!) that would give rise to a situation where planning permissions would be granted to the highest bidder.

Secondly, and once again, some of the pre-conceptions arising on this page about the locals are, frankly, astounding. Crime is minimal in the area, the majority of people in the area are in employment and are certainly not ignorant, (is it ignorant to take an interest in your city, to monitor planning applications, to visit the planning desk daily, to learn how to read plans and technical drawings, to come to grips with the language of density, development plans, high rise studies et al). I wonder how many of the contributors to this web page have taken the same trouble in order to familiarise themselves with this development.

As to the notion of locals being anti development, that is risible. For years local community groups have been lobbying Dublin Corporation for the implementation of the masterplan which eventually became the HARP Plan.

Why should Dublin follow the model and pattern of development of Munich, Frankfurt, New York, Shanghai and whatever city is demolishing more and building higher, faster and more densely than its rivals, that way lies dereliction, infrastructural disaster and cities which are uninhabitable.

As to the lack of ‘historic’ fabric. Has anybody actually looked at an OS map, development plan, or even taken a good walk around the area???. If they had they would notice a strong core of untidy, gap toothed but still intact 18th century Dublin. 1 church dating from the 10th century, three 18th century churches, an entire 18th century asylum by Francis Johnson, an 18th century fever hospital by the same architect, four public houses originally taverns dating from the 17th 18th and 19th centuries, the 1770’s Blew Coat School, a market square dating from 1640, a half intact 1640’s main Street (Queen Street) a large number of list 1 and 2 18th century houses, a high street (stoneybatter) dating from the 9th century – the list goes on!!

As to my own credentials, would two Special Mentions in the AAi’s the same number in he RIAI’s, four magazine profiles a slew of serious and I should add modern built work convince???

Take the trouble to find out about the people and area. I get the strong impression that the ignorance lies on the side of soem of the web site commentators supporting this development for the vaguest of reasons.

And once again, without re-iterating, cut out the neo fascistic drivel. Learn to look, analyse, consider and think. Architecture is not about surface and height. It is about the shaping of the built environment. Think long and hard about a development of this height made up largely of warren like rabbit hutch apartments, a few super pubs, a budget hotel and some dodgy office useage, all of such enormity that even the developers admit that it would overshadow most of Smithfield for the greater part of the year. This type of development does no credit to any city – if you want to look at the consequences of this type of thing look at Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. Smithfield needs development on its west side, but not these developments.

And finally, where were you all 7 years ago when this community forced Dublin Corporation to look into the revitalisation of Smithfield, insisted upon the preparation of a masterplan, demanded proper policing, safe street lighting, organised play areas and instituted one of the most sucessful adult education courses in the inner city.

Less nonsense PLEASE, and more intelligent debate. Persuade me that you are right, give reasons for your arguments – In short grow up!!!

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