A once-off compensation payment should be made to the last remaining traders from Dublin’s Moore Street market to close their stalls, a Government appointment advisory group on the future of the street has recommended.
In its final report, the Moore Street Advisory Group, which includes traders’ representatives, said it would not be possible for stalls to operate once the redevelopment of the area starts and a compensation package should be put in place “as soon as possible”.
The report, which has been welcomed by Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien and Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan, also calls for the speedy restoration and development of a visitor centre at the National Monument buildings at 14-17 Moore Street. It is understood this work will cost some €16.25 million.
Hammerson, the UK property group which owns most of the buildings on Moore Street, is to soon submit a planning application for a retail office and residential scheme on a six-acre plot stretching from O'Connell Street to Moore Street and Parnell Street to Henry Street, formerly known as the Carlton Site.
If planning permission is granted, construction is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2030.
The advisory group, chaired by academic Tom Collins, said it shared the "traders' conviction" the on-street market "cannot function during the construction phase". Working conditions on the street were "already seriously compromised by security concerns and anti-social behaviour".
Talks between the traders and Dublin City Council to identify a "suitable, mutually agreeable relocation site" had been unsuccessful, it said.
“Given this set of circumstances the [group] supports the establishment of a compensation fund for the street traders.”
There are 17 remaining licence holders on the street. “It is recommended that a process commences immediately involving these traders and the developers. The scale of any such fund will need to be agreed between the traders and the developers.”
The terms and conditions of the payment would have to be agreed between the parties, but it said the group recommends a “once-off ex-gratia payment to each of the 17 licenced holders”.
Hammerson said it welcomed the report and would be “participating” in the process outlined.
The group also endorsed the report of the council’s expert group on the regeneration of the market, which recommended that post construction a “multicultural cross-generational, ethnically diverse” market needed to be developed on the street.
While there was “not universal support” for all aspects of Hammerson’s plans for the street, there was a “broad welcome” for how they had evolved from the earlier shopping centre proposal, the group said.
“Most of the [group] feel that the proposal as it now stands preserves the urban heritage whilst simultaneously attempting to consider the need for modernisation in a culturally and historically sensitive manner.”
However, there were “members who feel that the heritage considerations in the plan are a gesture toward history but do not go far enough”.
Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said he and other members of the group had expressed “grave concern about many aspects of the Hammerson plan…yet many of our proposed amendments were not included in the report.”