Iveagh Markets plan declared invalid by Dublin City Council

by Rachel Darcy

An application lodged with Dublin City Council (DCC) to renovate the long-empty Iveagh Markets has been thrown out, with the application declared invalid last week.

The application was lodged by hotelier Martin Keane just before Christmas, with the proposals including a new food hall, distillery, restaurants and a brewery.

However, DCC have declared the application invalid, with DCC’s head of planning saying he wasn’t satisfied that Keane had secured the necessary funding to carry out the project.

The application was also lodged without the council’s consent, as landowner of the building.

This echoes the points made in a report by DCC assistant chief executive Richard Shakespeare earlier this month.

The developer was first given a lease in 1997 to develop the markets, with this renewed in 2004 with the promise that development would begin within 36 months of this lease being agreed upon.

It was announced earlier this month that the council are planning to take back control of the Iveagh Markets, which have been left idle for more than 20 years.

In the letter to councillors, Shakespeare said that Keane advised the council on several occasions that he would lodge a planning application for the future of the markets “by the Autumn”.

However, a submission was not made by Keane until December 23, with Shakespeare saying: “the application was lodged without the council’s consent as landowner”.

Shakespeare said that Keane was requested to provide evidence that he had sufficient funds for the project, but that the documents provided, to date, do not “satisfy the council” that funding has been secured.

The council has now broken off negotiations with Keane on the future of the building and are understood to have said they are willing to defend the repossession in court.

Last year, a council-commissioned report said the markets were in an “advanced state of dereliction”, with repairs to halt any further dereliction on the Edwardian building expected to cost upwards of €13 million, before any redevelopment could begin on the Francis Street building.

The total project is estimated to cost €30 million.

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