Abandoned Finglas pub cannot be added to Derelict Site Register

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

Independent Finglas Councillor Noeleen Reilly is calling on Dublin City Council to take immediate action on the Drake Inn site in Finglas Village.  

“I’ve raised the Drake Inn site with DCC on a number of occasions,” she said.

“It’s disgraceful that the site has been left lying for so long in the heart of Finglas village. It was considered a local historical landmark in the village.”

But the independent councillor for Finglas noted “Now, none of the state agencies want to take responsibility for it and the owner is allowed to accrue huge vacant site levies without any penalties.”

Cllr Reilly stated there is €28,000 fees outstanding on the property. “I know the council will be contacting them again for payment in March 2022. But the building cannot be left the way it is now.”

Located at the junction of Main Street and Jamestown Road, The Drake Inn was once a hotspot for popular bands and cabaret acts, but it has been vacant since 2009. Sitting in a prime location within Finglas village, Cllr Reilly and other members of DCC feel it casts a poor impact on Finglas, which has a vibrant community.

“It throws a negative shadow on the village,” added Cllr Reilly. “The sad condition of the Drake Inn makes the area look derelict, abandoned and neglected.”

In November 2019, a planning application from owners Swiss-based Mulsh Sarl was turned down by DCC. The company sought permission to construct 37 apartments in total, over five floors, above a ground floor retail unit and a gastropub.

Cllr Reilly noted DCC advised her the council cannot do a Compulsory Purchase Order on the site as it is not on the Derelict Site Register. 

“But there’s a tree growing through the middle of it – I don’t know how much more derelict it can get so I’m calling on DCC to put it on the Derelict Register as soon as possible which may kickstart the owner into action.

“I know this can be a difficult process but to allow the owners to leave it as is, is a disgrace.”

But a spokesperson for DCC stated The Drake Inn was entered on the Vacant Sites Register on April 16, 2019 as it met the criteria set out in the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 (as amended). 

“A site once entered on the Vacant Sites Register cannot subsequently be considered for action under the Derelict Sites Act 1990. Unlike the Derelict Sites Act, the Urban Regeneration Act does not give the council power to compulsorily purchase the site!”

DCC is aware that the owner of the site had applied for planning permission in late 2019 to develop this site although the planning permission was subsequently refused.  “It is reasonable to assume therefore that the owner has plans for the redevelopment of this site and hopefully will lodge a new planning application in the near future,” noted DCC.

However, Cllr Reilly concluded: “”Residents in Finglas are very anxious about this site, a prime location right smack in the village. I know there will likely be disagreement as to how it will be developed in the future, but it cannot be left in the condition its now in.

“What locals don’t want is large over development of the village, as in a large apartment block.  There may have to be compromise on the final development, but I can’t see the owners not developing the site – perhaps a return to a serving restaurant and public house?”

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