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Developers behind the Newmarket redevelopment have proposed a number of changes to plans for the site of the former Green Door Market building, and some are confused as to whether they will still include an indoor market.

The application to Dublin City Council was submitted last month by Newmarket RVAM 2 Ltd, which is different from the Newmarket Partnership that applied for the first planning in 2017 but shares the same address as the Creedon Group, which heads up the Newmarket Partnership.

Until last year, Newmarket was home to at least five markets. But the owners of the buildings around the square told them in May 2018 that their time was up and they had to move out.

Developers said they planned to demolish and rebuild the two buildings that were then home to the Green Door Market and the Dublin Food Co-op. The council, meanwhile, had a plan to revamp the square itself.

Back in September 2017, when the first plans were submitted, Martin Creedon, one of the men behind the Newmarket Partnership, said the redevelopment would mean more, not less market space.

But new drawings for the new building proposed for the site of the old Green Door Market omit the phrase “indoor market” and now call the space “retail”, leading some people to think there won’t be market space in the building any longer.

Nobody from the Creedon Group, Newmarket Partnership or Newmarket RVAM 2 Ltd got back to queries sent on Tuesday about the market space.

Changes Proposed

The plans have the area now labelled “retail” as 757 sqm, rather than 762 sqm – a reduction of 5 sqm. Meanwhile, the space allotted for the previously approved four artists’ studios is reduced from 83 sqm to 61 sqm – about 22 sqm.

There are also a number of other proposed changes, including an increase by 40 sqm in the amount of office space, moving staff facilities to the rear of the building, and 96 bicycle-parking spaces from the ground level to the basement.

Labour Councillor Rebecca Moynihan said the changes to the planning application are “a real pity”.

“In my initial objection to the Newmarket development, I have always thought that that particular market space was too small,” Moynihan says.

While the reduction in size for the market is “not a lot” the reduction for the artists’ studios is, she says.

“It’s a significant reduction in terms of the market space that was there for the Green Door Market and Dublin Flea Market,” Moynihan says.

Market Space

In their new planning application, the developers described the changes as “relatively minor in extent and detail and arise from inter alia matters arising at detailed design stage and the requirements of infrastructure and utilities [providers] including ESB.”

They acknowledge in their cover letter that a change-of-use planning application is required to get around having the market and artists’ studios. But that’s not what this new application says it wants to do.

The conditions for the 2017 planning application being granted stated: “The use of the entire area indicated as ‘market space’ on revised plans received on 20/10/17 shall be used for the purposes of an indoor market only. No change of use shall be permitted in the absence of a prior grant of planning permission.”

It also says: “The artists’ studio shall be used for this purpose only. No change of use shall be permitted in the absence of a prior grant of planning permission for same.”

In its conclusion, the new planning application states: “The proposed alterations do not change materially the permitted use mix and propose a relatively modest increase of the permitted office floorspace of approximately 40 sq.m, and a slight reduction in the permitted area of Market Hall and Artists’ Studio spaces.”

Nevertheless, Moynihan says she thinks more changes will come, down the line: “This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen this, that people have got planning permission on the basis of a certain number of things being included in our community then they subsequently go after planning permission is given.”

She points to the Mill Street student accommodation project, which was developed by the Creedon Group and GSA Developments.

Permission was granted for the student 405-bed complex in 2015, but under the condition that it had to leave the courtyard publicly accessible.

Later, in 2018, GSA Developments applied for a change of use to close the courtyard to the public, which was granted.

“I think it’s using loopholes in the system to go back on things that were initially promised to the community,” Moynihan says.

Aura McMenamin is a city reporter.

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