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proposal appealed Planning row erupts over plan for 'modest hotel' in Temple Bar area

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merchant's arch

merchant's arch

merchant's arch

A NEW row has broken out between residents of Temple Bar and a publican over plans to redevelop a building at Merchant's Arch.

The owner of the Merchant's Arch pub has launched a renewed application for planning permission for a "modest" hotel on an adjacent site following the demolition of the existing two-storey building.

The proposed four-storey building at the corner of Merchant's Arch and Temple Bar Square would contain nine guest bedrooms and a restaurant at ground floor level.

Opposing the plans, the Temple Bar Residents Association (TBRA) said it was the third planning application to expand the site in the past three years after An Bord Pleanála had upheld appeals against proposals to create a "superpub" and boutique hotel on the site.

The residents group's chairperson, Frank McDonald, said the latest project was "equally objectionable".

TBRA claims the proposal for the hotel is a "Trojan horse" for a licensed premises on the site.

The plans are also opposed by Crampton Buildings Residents' Group, which said the biggest problem in the area is noise from pubs including Merchant's Arch, as well as fumes and waste from restaurants.

"The whole character of the area where we live has changed beyond recognition over the past 30 years," the group said.

It pointed out that the number of restaurants, cafes and fast-food takeaways had increased from 11 in 1984 to 85 last year.

Kevin Duff, a spokesperson for An Taisce, the country's leading heritage group, said it favoured the retention of the existing series of small shop units in Merchant's Arch, which were characteristic of the Temple Bar area.

Consultants for the pub's owner, Tom Doone, claim the existing building is in poor condition and of "no architectural significance".

However, council planners have asked Mr Doone to revise the plans and explore options for a three-storey building.

They suggested finding an alternative use for the ground floor, given the number of restaurants in the area.

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