Liberties locals wary about Newmarket plan

by Emma Nolan

A MAJOR redevelopment of the Liberties was announced this week with a hotel, indoor market, micro-brewery, offices and residential space planned.

The multimillion euro regeneration centres on Newmarket Square and would involve the demolition of the existing 1970s enterprise centre.

The overall development, which includes regeneration work on the adjoining Mill Street, will extend to more than 400,000sq ft and, when completed, would create 1,700 permanent jobs.

There were mixed reviews online from the Liberties community about the announcement. Local community Facebook page, The Liberties Dublin, saw some welcome the plans.

One comment read: “Great for the area,” while another read: “Very welcome to see apartments included in the scheme.”

However, some locals were less enthusiastic, with one saying: “Soon enough I won’t even recognise the area I grew up in. All the hotels and apartments going up in such a small area.

“The Liberties had a certain charm about it, but now it’s being replaced by generic buildings. It’s losing its identity and what made it famous in the first place.”

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 (DCC) in May 2009 and extended for another five years in 2014.

The plan was outlined on Monday by Newmarket Partnership, the company behind the development, who said that 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 Dublin City Council.

The company said: “Much of the regeneration we are planning would involve replacing 1970s enterprise and factory units with [a] mixed-use development comprising a hotel, new retail and office space and accommodation.

“Newmarket Square has witnessed a re-birth thanks to the Teeling Distillery and some outdoor markets, but we believe now is the time to transform the old enterprise centre into a residential and retail hub.”

A spokesperson for DCC confirmed that local property owners have conducted pre-application consultations with the planning authority on a number of the earmarked sites in Newmarket, and it is anticipated that planning applications will be lodged shortly for the redevelopment of these sites.

Planning permission applications for the works are in the process of being lodged with DCC.

Related Articles