CGI of proposed Union Cafe site at Mount Merrion
CGI of proposed Union Cafe site at Mount Merrion

A redevelopment proposal in Mount Merrion has been granted planning permission, despite local objections.

Property company Oakmount got the green light from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to re-develop Kennedy’s Bar and Union Cafe.

Nearly 340 objections were lodged against the plans, making it the most contested planning application in the local council area that year.

The plans include the demolition of the existing 4-storey Kennedy’s/Union Cafe building of 1593 square metres, and replacing it with a reduced building of 1164 square metres, and a three-story pub/restaurant including terraces and a penthouse level function room.

There will also be an apartment scheme comprising 11 one-beds, 30 two-beds, and nine three-beds.

Among the concerns expressed was a fear the pub may turn into a student pub and cause noise pollution and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Minister Josepha Madigan told Dublin Gazette she supports the concerns of the residents.

“The new development is welcome, but it must be suitable for the local landscape and fit in with the community.

“What is being proposed is too large and close to the local church and shops. Developers can’t have their cake and eat it.

“Parking and traffic are also big concerns as the plans may add to existing parking issues outside the park and shops on Deerpark road.

“There is a daily traffic issue at peak times and the proposed development at this location will only add to existing difficulties,” Minister Madigan said.

“Light and noise pollution also need to be taken into consideration, not to mention the view. There is a magnificent view of the city landscape from this area and we cannot have our view stolen.

“I have made a submission to An Board Pleanala in relation to this development, and I would ask all concerned residents to submit their own observations. Local residents’ concerns must be given top priority,” added Minister Madigan.

When asked to comment about local concerns, a council spokesperson said: “Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s decision has been appealed to An Bord Pleanala, we are therefore not in a position to comment.”

A spokesperson for the developers Oakmount said they have addressed the concerns of local residents recently by distributing a flyer in the area.

In the flyer, seen by Dublin Gazette, it said: “Tomose Ltd. would like to respond to the misrepresentation in a recent flyer issued by the Mount Merrion Residents Association.

“The flyer stated that the proposed new development will lead to the area becoming ‘one of Dublin’s major party locations’ resulting in a negative impact of residential property values in the area.

“We refute that the new development will be a sports bar/party venue, which ‘will result in frequent late-night openings’ and ‘consequent noise, nuisance,’ hosting outdoor screening of sporting events resulting in anti-social behaviour locally.

“Kennedy’s/Union Cafe is operated by the Press Up Entertainment Group. It is fundamental to all Press Up Group businesses to operate in harmony with local communities, who they consider stakeholders in their businesses.

“They act in close cooperation with the local gardai and regularly consult with environment health officers in relation to noise management.”

They added that the moving of the existing venue to the eastern corner of the site has advantages of much needed new apartments in the area, bringing existing “unsightly street level parking underground”, and opening “stunning views from the penthouse level function room” in a new venue.