Growing opposition in bid to save ‘Lord Mayor’s’ pub

by Sylvia Pownall

Opposition is mounting against controversial plans to demolish the former Lord Mayor’s pub in Swords and build 172 apartments on the site.

Two online petitions have garnered thousands of supporters and local public representatives have also voiced their concerns about the proposal.

The application, by Jacko Investments Ltd, involves bulldozing the landmark building and replacing it with apartments in blocks up to seven storeys in height.

The size and density of the scheme see it qualify as a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) – meaning it bypasses the council and goes directly before An Bord Pleanala.

Cllr Ian Carey (GP) said: “I have had many people come to me unhappy with the demolition of the Lord Mayor’s.

“It is a landmark building for the town, and it has a long, long history. I want the building to be saved. We can develop the town without losing a bit of ourselves.”

The 350-year-old Main Street structure is one of the most iconic buildings in Swords and was the location of the turnpike, where people in the 1700s and 1800s paid tolls.

Locals want the apartment scheme pared back so the building can be preserved.

There are also concerns over traffic and the height of the scheme.

Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) is encouraging people to make their voices heard by lodging a submission with An Bord Pleanala.

He said: “Personally, I do not like the SHD process, as I strongly believe there has to be a better balance between getting units built to help solve the housing crisis, versus doing things properly.

“The use of the SHD legislation should not allow developers go above and beyond what would usually be permitted by the [council] planning department.

“We need additional housing and we need additional apartments for Swords, but we need this to be done correctly and not in a way that will cause further problems down the line through a lack of amenities and over-development.”

The plans are now on public display and the deadline for submissions is April 1.

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