Developers scale back Cobblestone scheme in bid to secure green light

Hotel plan commits to retaining pub in its entirety and creating new performing space

Scaled-back plans for a hotel over the Cobblestone pub in Dublin will ensure that the pub’s important cultural offering will be maintained, according to the project’s architects.

C+W O'Brien Architects, who are employed by developers Marron Estates, told An Bord Pleanála that, instead of the original 114-bedroom, nine-storey scheme put forward to Dublin City Council, the company is now proposing a seven-storey scheme over the protected pub in Smithfield.

As part of the appeal of the planning refusal by the council, the architects propose “the retention of the entire Cobblestone pub over all floors at basement, ground and first and second floors”.

The removal of the back room area of the pub was a controversial component of the original scheme and was also a specific ground of refusal by the council.


The council said the loss of the back room – which has developed as a space for teaching, rehearsal and performance for traditional music – would be contrary to the city’s development plan provisions in respect of culture in the capital.

Performance space

Marron Estates now proposes to relocate the back room to “a purpose-built performing space contained within the retained historic yard to the rear of the site”.

Arthur O’Brien, of C+W O’Brien, said the performing space will have a direct link to the pub. He argued that this would allow “for a new space for teaching, rehearsal and performance for traditional music, maintaining the role the existing back room”.

“This, along with the reduced proposals of maintaining all other uses at first and second floor above the existing Cobblestone pub, would ensure that the important cultural offering would be maintained,” he said.

Arguing for planning permission for the reduced proposal, Mr O’Brien said: “This application offers an opportunity to redevelop this important site, one that has laid vacant and in disrepair for a substantial number of years.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times