Owners of 3Arena seek to block Citywest concerts plan

The owners of the 3Arena, concert giants Live Nation is trying to block plans by Citywest Hotel to stage concerts at its convention centre.

The move follows the Live Nation firm that operates the 3Arena, Amphitheatre Ltd, lodging an appeal with Bord Pleanála against a decision by South Dublin County Council to give Citywest the go-ahead to stage concerts.

The decision by the local authority also allows Citywest to increase the capacity at the centre from just over 4,100 to 6,000 guests.

The hotel is Dublin’s largest with 789 bedrooms. It was purchased for a reported €29m by Tetrarch Capital in 2014.

Damien Gaffney, managing director of Tetrarch Hospitality, the operator of Citywest, said yesterday: “Since acquiring Citywest in late 2014 we have initiated a €10m investment programme in upgrading the hotel’s facilities.

“There has been a very material spend on the hotel’s infrastructure and car parking and we also continue to oversee a significant amount of internal upgrade works.

"We are very excited about the potential to increase the capacity of the convention centre which will widen the range of events we can host,” he said.

Consultants for Citywest told South Dublin County Council that the South Dublin County Development Plan supports the appropriate development of Citywest and that the proposed development is in accordance with the existing development on the site.

However, Amphitheatre has retained planning consultants, John Spain & Associates to oppose the plan. In a submission, Amphitheatres’s consultants state “the site is almost 15km from Dublin city centre and a concert venue in this location is likely to detract from venues in the city centre such as the seated area of the 3Arena, the Gaiety Theatre, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and the Olympia and as a result have a negative impact on the vitality and primacy of the city centre”.

The planning consultants also state that the “use of this edge-of-city site for public concerts is highly inconsistent with the overall character of the area which is typically residential, including local amenities and uses such as schools and convenience retail”.

The firm stated that a previous appeals board permission for the convention centre restricted the capacity to 4,161 and prohibited its use as a concert venue.

“This application is a direct contravention to the permission granted by the bord and seeks to reverse the condition without any material change in circumstances,” the submission states.

The widow of the late Jim Mansfield, former owner of Citywest, Ann Mansfield has also appealed the council’s decision.

She implored the council to refuse permission raising concerns over noise impacts from planned concerts at the venue on her property which is located 140m from the venue.

A decision is due on the application in October. A spokesman for Amphitheatre declined to comment.


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