A series of emergency meetings have been held by a Dublin 8 advocacy group as it was revealed that Dublin City Council plan to start works on Weaver Square Gardens as soon as possible.

Gardeners and users of the allotments just off Cork Street were told before Christmas that the green space would be used to develop rapid-build housing by Dublin City Council after December 31 last.

An exact date hadn’t been provided, but it’s understood that the council wished to start work on the building this week.

As a result, the Save Weaver Square Garden and Allotment group have held a number of emergency meetings, as well as set up an online petition in an attempt to stop the building, which currently has more than 1,300 signatures.

The development of the gardens will be a blow to The Liberties, as the locality has been consistently battling for additional green spaces. Dublin 8 has the lowest amount of green space per square metre in the capital.

Dublin City Council previously told Dublin Gazette that the site has always been earmarked for housing, and that it was being used for allotments on “short-term licence agreements”.

The council said: “We have to make best possible use of the limited land bank that we have. There is a large number of households on our housing waiting lists for this area.

“Currently, this land is being used for allotments on short-term licence agreements. It was always intended to develop housing on this site.”

Crumlin based Senator Catherine Ardagh (FF) has said that the loss of Weaver Square gardens to residents will further reduce access to valuable green spaces for families and children.

Senator Ardagh said: “It’s no wonder that the loss of this site has mobilised so many local people to come together and get involved in the campaign to save the gardens.

“We are proud of our community but are equally concerned about the future of one of the last remaining green spaces in what already is a major urban neighbourhood.

“I have noted previously that I am acutely aware of the urgent demand for sustainable housing across the city and county.

“But we cannot ignore the fact that there are other more suitable sites that could be developed just as quickly, particularly those declared on DCC’s Derelict Sites Register.

“The local authority has, on occasion, acknowledged the poor provision of open space and overall greening in the Liberties.

“These statements are both clearly at odds with their planned action on Weaver’s Square.

“If these works go ahead on the Weaver Square Gardens site, we won’t have made any progress towards making our city greener and more liveable.

“In fact, we will have taken a major step away from such an outcome,” she said.