Plans to demolish the landmark Quinn's Pub in Drumcondra, popular with GAA fans heading to Croke Park, to make way for a five-storey 'build to rent' apartment scheme are facing opposition from residents in the area.
Last month, Discipulo Developments Ltd lodged plans to construct a five-storey over partial basement mixed-use development for the site.
The application came one year after fund provider, BlackBee Investments purchased the pub. The pub was formerly owned by the bankrupt billionaire Seán Quinn and since his downfall, the pub had been run on behalf of the liquidators of the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank.
Along with the 50 'build to rent' apartments made up of 11 studio units, 33 one bedroom units and six two bedroom units, the proposal also includes plans for three ground floor commercial units, including a bookmakers.
However, in an objection against the plan, the Iona and District Residents Association (IDRA) has told the council that Quinn’s pub has been a focus and landmark in Drumcondra for 150 years for locals and GAA fans through its proximity to Croke Park.
The local residents’ association state: “Several different communities have an attachment to this building because it is an essential reference point and meeting place.”
The residents’ group argues that a comprehensive analysis of the architectural, cultural and social conservation significance strongly indicates that the demolition of Quinn’s public house “would be detrimental to Drumcondra and the wider area”.
The IDRA state that it is not opposed to the sensitive redevelopment of the site but that “the proposed design of the building is out of character with the area and doesn’t reflect its immediate context”.
'Another faceless junction'
Local resident, Alfonso Bonilla has claimed that should the council approve the plan, the town centre of Drumcondra will become another faceless junction along the N1 with no urban presence.
Another local resident, Alison Hay has told the council that the proposed development “is overbearing, out of scale and out of character compared with existing development in the vicinity”.
Ms Hay stated: “Fifty apartments are excessive.”
Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan has told the council in her submission that there is an over-concentration of 'build to rent; accommodation in Dublin City Centre.
She stated that while there may be a place for some level of 'build to rent' applications, “it is difficult to see that the volume of such applications is the best use of the limited land bank in the inner city”.
Fianna Fáil Senator Mary Fitzpatrick has claimed in a submission that the 50 units over five storeys “seems like a very dense development”.
A Design Statement lodged with the application states that the proposal has been designed to respond to and complement the built context of the immediate area.
The statement later adds that the proposed scheme incorporates a well considered detail design intent to ensure that it is a high standard mixed use development.
Planning consultants, Thornton O’Connor Town Planning state that the build to rent scheme will contribute significantly to addressing the acute shortage of residential accommodation within Dublin 3.
A decision is due on the application next month.