Re: Re: Smithfield, Dublin

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The finished lower end of the plaza – nice job!!!!!!! Skateboard rats are the main activity so far.

That ‘Glass House’ office infill worked out quite well ….. apart from the lack of office tenants, lol.

Now all that’s needed is development of the two sites on the west side on each side of Luas. There were two pisstaking Tiger applications for these sites in the late noughties.


First off was a redevelopment of the buildings on the Smithfield / Haymarket site with a monster 9-storey block, in the centre, above. This was granted permission with no volume changes by Dublin City Council – 2776/07 – and refused outright by An Bord Pleanala on appeal – PL29N.226444. The architects were trying to do some trendy Stockholm-Barcelona building with “woven steel mesh” instead of actually trying to repair some of the damage done to the coherent historic scale of the area by Smithfield Market.

In the appeal, the applicant argued, inter alia, that the location of the site at the junction of Luas and Smithfield warranted a large building such as that proposed. The appellant argued, inter alia, that the site should be seen in the overall context of Smithfield and the appropriate thing to do here was mediate in scale between Smithfield Market to the north and the traditional city scale of the Quays to the south.

While the Haymarket site was still under appeal, a 10-storey building was lodged for the Smithfield / Coke Lane site next door to the south, on the left above – 2012/08

The Coke Lane proposal was redesigned and scaled back by the time of its approval by the City Council, then was further reduced and turned around by 180° on appeal – PL29N.232346

Following the initial Haymarket appeal refusal, a revised 7-storey block was permitted by the City Council – 3045/09 – then reduced to 6 storeys on appeal – PL29N.234398.

So the desired transition in scale between Smithfield Market and the Quays was eventually achieved in the permitted buildings. But there’s no consistency to the City Council’s decision making; they granted permission for the two successive Haymarket applications more or less without any changes, but granted a massively reduced version of the Coke Lane proposal.

I recall during the boom that when Adamstown Town Centre in west Dublin was being created, there were strict briefs by South Dublin Co. Co. which the various architects involved had to follow and they all knew exactly what type and size of building was required in each location. Yet a major Dublin-city-centre civic and historic plaza like Smithfield had no guidelines about how its remaining gap sites should be developed, about what type of buildings the City Council wanted to see there …… so you got this tomfoolery nonsense of applicants coming in with obviously ridiculous proposals out of proportion to the location, with the City Council usually just throwing permission at them ….. hopefully it’ll all be cleaned up on appeal. Crazy.

It’s all a bit much when you read the reams and reams of waffle in the new Dublin City Development Plan under headings like “shaping the city” and “spatial structure of Dublin” (just open it here and start reading anywhere). The sham that’s been called “planning” in Dublin city centre for the past decade cannot hide behind this wall of bluff.

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