herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Crosbie's 02 partners want his market axed

BATTLE: New blow for developer's 'Covent Garden' dream

THE COMPANY that co-owns the O2 with Harry Crosbie is fighting a decision giving the developer permission to hold what is being heralded as "Ireland's biggest weekend market".

Mr Crosbie won permission from Dublin City Council last month for a temporary performance and markets area at the Point Village Square on East Wall Road.

However, Amphitheatre Ireland Ltd, which owns 50pc of the concert venue, has appealed the ruling to An Bord Pleanala.

Shows

In a submission to the council, Amphitheatre Ireland Ltd had said it considered that the markets proposal would have a "significant negative impact" on O2. It was likely to "detract from the special character" of the venue, it added.

After receiving permission from the council, Mr Crosbie said the project would host the country's biggest weekend market, with 150 stalls. "We'll also be running free, lunchtime rock shows," Mr Crosbie added.

Provision was made in the planning application for exhibition spaces in structures built from around 200 shipping containers. The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) had written to the council outlining its strong objections to the project.

The authority said it believed it was important to provide "quality public open space at early stages in the development of an area". It added that the proposal was "unacceptable in terms of the material finishes proposed".

The DDDA said: "The proposed temporary development is not in the spirit of policies set out in the Dublin Docklands Master Plan 2008 or the North Lotts Planning Scheme."

Mr Crosbie insisted "all the best" traders will be selling at the market. He said that the plan will "not be a million miles away" from the world famous Covent Garden markets.

However, Amphitheatre Ireland's move has cast doubt over the project.

Earlier this year, Mr Crosbie was granted planning permission to build a Dublin version of the London Eye in the docklands.

The €10m observation wheel will operate for up to four years.

Attractions

It meant that Mr Crosbie was likely to beat the DDDA in the race to build the first Dublin Eye.

The DDDA had been planning to build a Ferris wheel at George's Dock or Custom House Quay.

Mr Crosbie said the markets site "will combine the attractions of the world's busiest concert venue of its size, a market to rival Covent Garden and a unique tourist attraction in the big wheel".

comurphy@herald.ie

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