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Wednesday 18 October 2017

€4m super-pub plan shelved due to fears of 'too many bars' in area

Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin at The Three Tun Tavern, Blackrock
Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin at The Three Tun Tavern, Blackrock

Plans for a new €4m JD Wetherspoons super-pub and hotel have been put on hold due to concerns about an over-concentration of pubs in the Camden Street area of Dublin.

It follows Dublin City Council requesting further information from the UK pub giant on its plans for a super-but on the site of a former homeless hostel at Camden Hall.

Wetherspoons, founded by Tim Martin, plans to open 30 pubs in Ireland over the next five years.

The application has led to a number of objections by local residents against the Camden Hall plan, which also proposes a 98-bedroom hotel at the site. It said the scheme would create 100 jobs if it gets the green light.

In one objection, local resident Barry Chambers told the city council "enough is enough, the area is at tipping point and already fast becoming another Temple Bar - great for revellers and operators, but not so good for everyone else".

Mr Chambers urged the planning officer in the case to take a stroll along Camden Street and lanes off the street at closing time at night "to witness the mayhem at first hand".

Mr Chambers said there were already 14 pubs in the Camden Street/Wexford Street area with 13 cafes/restaurants also serving alcohol. "Clearly, Camden Street is more than adequately served for the purchase and consumption of alcohol," he said..

In response to concerns by local residents, the City Council told the applicants that it would encourage entertainment uses in the area that would help create an exciting city for residents and tourists.

The council stated: "However, there is a need to strike an appropriate balance between the role of these entertainment uses in the economy of the city and ensure a balanced mix of uses and protect the amenities of residents from an over-concentration of late-night venues."

The council told the applicants that it has "concern in relation to the over-concentration of bars and restaurants on Camden Street".

It stated that "the Planning Authority has a concern with the reduction in the number of hotel rooms and the inclusion of a 1,184 sq metre of bar/restaurant/lounge/dining and outdoor seating with tables and chairs"

It said its concerns were due to an "over-concentration" of bars and restaurants in the area and a "shortage of hotel rooms in the city".

The Council also stateed that it had concerns in relation to the noise from the proposed lower ground-floor restaurant and outdoor seating area.

Planning

As a result, the Council has asked Wetherspoons to justify the reduction in the number of hotel bedrooms and submit a map showing the number of bars on Camden Street and Wexford Street in order to establish if there is an over- concentration in the area.

Consultants for Wetherspoons stated that closing time would be 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and "the proposed bar will not be a late-night bar in the traditional sense".

The site already has planning permission for a hotel.

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