Green Party Councillor Claire Byrne has expressed her grave disappointment at the An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission to build a hotel in Portobello Harbour.
Describing the decision as ‘effectively the privatisation of a public space’, Councillor Byrne accused An Bord Pleanala of ignoring Dublins citizens and the Portobello residents.
She said: “There was a huge number of objections submitted to this development late last year, not only by local residents, but also by users of the square on Portobello Harbour too. Almost 10,000 people signed a petition objecting to this hotel.
“While some welcome changes have been made to the application, this development will still effectively privatise this important public space, which is regularly used by skateboarders, cyclists, general public and has been home to many successful events and markets in recent years.
‘This decision flies in the face of the Dublin City Development Plan in terms of zoning, height, conservation and use.
“In addition, there is already an over concentration of hotels and other short-term accommodation in the City. We are in the middle of a housing crisis, if anything is to be built here it should be high density housing.
‘Before Christmas myself and my colleague Cllr Patrick Costello brought a motion to the Council to bring a halt to the granting of planning permissions for short-term rentals and to concentrate on building housing, which was agreed. Dublin City Council constantly complain that we have no land for housing. We do, it’s just being put to the wrong uses and DCC and An Bord Pleanala have the responsibility for that. We have yet to see rents come down or the housing list shorten as a result of these builds. Yes we need to cater for students and tourists, but not at the expense of homes for our citizens’
‘The only small consolation is that DCC have appointed a team to look at redesigning the plaza. At the very least now we can push for ensuring that the square remains in public use’
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