Plaza plans parked in favour of extra input

by Emma Nolan
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THE College Green Plaza plans have been delayed as An Bord Plenala (ABP) decide that another period of public consultation is needed.

A decision on whether the €10 million development would be given the go-ahead was due on November 2, but will now not be announced until next April.

Now, ABP’s decision may interfere with the beginning of Luas Cross City operations as buses will still run on the roads, and subsequently on the new tracks.

The plans, if approved, will see College Green completely transformed into a pedestrianised area with no traffic at all on Dame Street.

Proposals to build the plaza have been in place since May, when Dublin City Council wrote to ABP requesting permission for its construction.

The delay is due to the board’s stance that banning traffic from the area will have “wider city implications”.

Some businesses, Dublin Bus and the National Transport Authority have also expressed concern over the plans.

In a letter to the council, ABP said the new information in the plans included “significant additional data in relation to the likely effects on the environment of the proposed development, and the likely consequences for proper planning and sustainable development in the area”.

The board has insisted on another period of public consultation in light of the new information, which will be published in the next two weeks.

The news comes ahead of permanent traffic diversions which were put in place on Tuesday to allow for the Luas Cross City to begin next month.

As of Tuesday, private cars will not be permitted to drive down half of Dawson Street, and there will be a contra-flow lane introduced for the new Luas line. This means that only trams will be permitted full access to Dawson Street.

Buses will have partial access, and all other vehicles will have access between Stephen’s Green and the turn off for Molesworth Street. There will be no access changes for pedestrians.

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