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Dublin: 23 °C Monday 25 June, 2018
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Why a historic site next to the Poolbeg Towers could become Dublin's newest cultural hub

A motion from the Green Party seeks to secure the Pigeon House Precinct for cultural and green uses.

There are a number of listed buildings on the site.
There are a number of listed buildings on the site.

A SITE IN Poolbeg is being earmarked to be transformed into a “real creative hub in the city on the peninsula”.

A proposal before Dublin City Council is seeking to give priority to creative, cultural, artistic, community and green business uses to the Pigeon House Precinct.

The motion was put forward by Green Party Councillor Claire Byrne, and she told TheJournal.ie that it is a unique opportunity to develop a “beautiful part of the city” and use it for creative, cultural and green uses.

The Pigeon House Precinct has a history stretching back centuries, and has a number of protected structures including the old hotel and power station.

Located right next to the iconic Poolbeg Towers, Byrne said it had been identified that the area was not suitable for residential development and that the area provides a unique opportunity for a new hub.

There is already a history of creative use of the site, with artist studios located there in recent decades, as well as being a location for TV and film production.

Byrne said: “I heard that Dublin City Council was putting it out… for a long-term lease, and I wanted to ensure that the site would be used in the right.

It’s right on the waterfront. It’s an amazing space. We’re building 3,000 residential units close by. It’s not suitable itself for housing because the three buildings there are listed. It’s good to break up what’s happening on the peninsula, because it’s all been industrial activity there for a long time. And we have enough office blocks down in the docks already anyway.

She said that the area around the towers and Sandymount would already attract a number of visitors and the idea of creating a cultural hub just outside the city is an attractive prospect.

“It’s an under-utilised area,” the councillor said. “I think officials within the council are quite well-disposed to it being developed in this way. They don’t want to see it just go to the biggest developer.”

Byrne added that a sub-committee of councillors are working to identify other areas to develop similar hubs of cultural and creative activity but that “in terms of scale”, the Pigeon House Precinct is the only land available to do it.

The next step for the project is to get the councillor’s motion cleared at the next full council meeting, before attempts are made to attract investors to the project.

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Sean Murray

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