Drake Inn site a massive eyesore in Finglas

Owners should be forced to pay outstanding levies – claims Cllr

by Rose Barrett
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Drake Inn Finglas

The derelict Drake Inn site in Finglas village is causing huge frustration among local people, claims independent councillor for Finglas, Noeleen Reilly, who called for heftier fines to be issued to land-owners/developers letting sites and buildings fall into disrepair.

Cllr Reilly and other public representatives have repeatedly raised the state of the site in recent years, claiming it was heart-breaking for locals to see what once an iconic building at the heart of the community fall into such a state.

Following a question she raised recently with Dublin City Council, Cllr Reilly said,

“The Drake Inn used to be a focal point for local people in Finglas.  It is in the heart of the village and people have many happy memories having frequented this once popular place.

“What now stands there is a derelict building, which makes the whole area look neglected and unkempt. Volunteers from Finglas Tidy Towns do their utmost to improve Finglas Village but this building is totally hampering their good work!

“The owner has put in several planning permissions and the current one which was lodged in March 2022 is still awaiting a decision; this is down to the applicant not responding to Dublin City Council (DCC) seeking further information.”

She continued: “Not only that but they also owe the council €56,000 in derelict levy fees for 2020 and 2021.”

Cllr Reilly said this is really unacceptable. “I requested back in 2019 that the site should be placed on the Derelict Site register in the hope that this would force them to do something with the land, but they are just ignoring all communications from DCC.”

She further added: ““There are various opinions locally about what should go there but everyone is agreed something needs to. It is my view that developers are only interested in building monstrosities and if they don’t get their way, they just leave the land sitting there. There should be greater penalties on any owner leaving land like this.”

Cllr Reilly put forward a question at a recent DCC meeting, asking the Manager for an update on the planning application on the Drake Inn site and whether any of the derelict site levies had been paid as yet.

In response, the Manager stated a planning application was lodged by Mulsh Sarl on March 25 2022 under planning ref: 3596/22 on the site at 59-60 Main Street, Finglas, D 11.

The application sought planning permission on the site for the demolition of the existing two-storey over part basement (three storey), terraced, commercial building and the construction of a six-storey over full basement (seven storey) terraced mixed-use building consisting of one retail unit and one gastropub/restaurant at ground floor level, and a total of 25 apartments over five floors (eight one beds, eleven two beds and six three beds, with balconies to the south, east and west elevations, and communal roof terraces, all over a basement comprising 74 bicycle parking spaces, bin stores, plant room, stores, ancillary service areas for the commercial unit, and all associated site and engineering works. 

On May 19 this year, DCC made a request for specific further information to the applicant who has up to six months to respond. With only a few weeks till his final response date runs out, the applicant could seek an extension for a further three months, allowing them a full nine months from DCC’s initial request.

At the time of responding to Cllr Reilly’s question, no further information has been

received by DCC from the applicant or agent. Cllr Reilly reiterated her opinion that the site of the former Drake Inn should not be allowed to remain an eyesore and developers should be forced to pay levies owed on such neglected sites.

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