Locals rally to save square from ‘greedy developers’

by Emma Nolan
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A RALLY to save Newmarket Square from “greedy developers” is taking place today (Thursday, August 27) between 6 -7 p.m.

Following the announcement two weeks ago that developers had applied for planning permission for a multi-million euro regeneration of Newmarket, many locals have reacted warily to the plans and a group called Save Newmarket has formed.

Group founder, Joe McPolin told The Gazette that there has been a “heartening response” to the rally from locals.

He said: “Newmarket Square has been overrun by for-profit businesses that consolidate our community wealth into the hands of a few.

“If these planning applications are successful, they will bring a giant hotel, expensive retail space, and yet another alcohol-oriented business to the square which profits off the addictions of many Dublin 8 residents.”

Three new planning applications with Dublin City Council have been submitted by Newmarket Partnership PM Ltd.

A hotel, indoor market, micro-brewery, offices and residential space are planned and the overall development, which includes regeneration work on the adjoining Mill Street, will extend to more than 400,000sq ft.

Joe said that the existing Dublin Food Co-op and Dublin Flea Market’s futures will be in doubt if the plans get the go-ahead.

“Our beloved Newmarket Square, home to the Dublin Food Co-op, Dublin Flea Market, Fusion Sundays World Market, and Pure Vintage Market, is under threat by greedy developers.”

Newmarket Square was identified as a key development area in the Liberties Local Area Plan by the council.

This plan was prepared and approved by Dublin City Council in May 2009 and extended for another five years in 2014.

Now, Newmarket Partnership Ltd are saying that the proposed regeneration works would complement the tourist attraction Teeling Distillery which is based at the site, and would also complement the €2.3m upgrade works proposed by the council.

In a response to Save Newmarket and the rally, a spokesperson from developers Newmarket Partnership Ltd said that the existing markets will not be impacted by their proposals.

The spokesperson said: “We of course want to hear what those concerned with the plans want to say, but they should study our proposals carefully because we plan to expand the amenities and pedestrian access to the square.”

They said that the main site of the regeneration is the 1970s enterprise office which is currently owned by food company Blenders, and that the Dublin Co-op and Dublin Flea Market will benefit from added space in the plans.

“The plans are in tandem with Dublin City Council’s proposed €3.2 million upgrade works to Newmarket Square – to create a living, breathing, open space that will ultimately bring 1,700 jobs to the area.”


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