New setbacks to development of College Green plaza

A meeting to discuss the development was cancelled but traffic restrictions may be enforced

The development of a €10 million civic plaza in College Green could face a significant delay due to the cancellation of a public hearing that had been set to take place on Tuesday. Meanwhile, major traffic restrictions in the area could be enforced in the near future.

An Bord Pleanála planned to discuss the construction of the pedestrian and cycle plaza, as well as a ban on traffic, including buses and taxis, from accessing Dame Street via College Green. The planning board were forced to postpone the public hearing due to errors in a newspaper notice published by the council in November. The hearing has yet to be rescheduled.

However, city council chief executive Owen Keegan said that action to curb traffic turmoil in College Green cannot wait until the next meeting and must be addressed immediately. Keegan wishes to enforce major traffic restrictions in the area as soon as possible, but a motion seeking to prevent the enforcement of thee traffic restrictions will be debated by city councillors tomorrow night.

The specifics on the restrictions have not yet been decided. The restrictions may involve an end to buses using the Luas Cross City line, and could see taxis and cars entirely prohibited from the area.

Tuesday’s meeting was cancelled following a violation of new EU rules that specify that 30 days must be given to be public to make submissions on new traffic changes. In a newspaper notice from the city council detailing information on the impact of the traffic ban on the surrounding city, the public were incorrectly informed that they had 21 days to make submissions on the new information. The notice should have also made reference to an Environmental Impact Assessment.

The council must publish another note mentioning the 30 days decisions on the plaza construction can be made. The board said it is “very keen” to reschedule the hearing “as soon as possible”.