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Wetherspoon’s Keavan’s Port hotel and pub faces planning battle to reopen city beer garden over anti-social behaviour

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JD Wetherspoon’s pub and hotel on Dublin’s Camden Street is facing a tough battle to reopen its beer garden due to objections from local residents regarding anti-social behavior. The establishment has also caught the attention of Dublin City Council, which has issued two enforcement notices for planning breaches.

Last year, JD Wetherspoon temporarily closed its beer garden following an enforcement notice from Dublin City Council and legal correspondence from concerned locals.

The current proposal to construct a 13-meter-high “acoustic sound barrier”wall is seen as an attempt to reopen the beer garden, but it is facing strong opposition. Niamh Moran, a resident of Grantham Street, has witnessed a significant increase in late-night noise, anti-social activity, public urination, and property damage since the hotel and pub opened.

Ghandi Malik, a trader on Camden Street, recalls a previous period when the beer garden was operational, causing substantial noise disturbances from afternoon until night. He expresses shock at the heightened levels of anti-social behavior and property damage, attributing it to the establishment’s failure to manage customers’ behavior.

James Wickham and Lorelei Harris from Pleasants Street dispute the effectiveness of the proposed acoustic barrier in reducing noise from the pub’s inner courtyard. They voice concerns about the creation of a large new outdoor drinking space in their neighborhood, which brings with it issues such as noise, crowding, anti-social behavior, and waste management challenges.

Additional residents of Camden Street criticize JD Wetherspoon’s failure to address the concerns of Upper Camden Street residents in previous planning applications. They also highlight the limited scope of the noise impact assessment, which only considered one street and ignored other residential areas. Furthermore, they argue that the layout and proximity of the outdoor courtyard to residential property is incompatible with safeguarding nearby residential amenity.

An Taisce, an environment and heritage charity, expresses significant concern about the impact of the pub and hotel’s outdoor area or beer garden on local residents. They cite issues such as noise, late-night operation, littering, intoxication, anti-social behavior, public urination, the operator’s low-cost model, the large size of the drinking space, and the resulting large crowds.

Dublin City Council has also issued two enforcement notices to JD Wetherspoon for planning breaches related to stock deliveries and waste collection. The pub owners had agreed to specific conditions regarding delivery hours and vehicle size. However, neighbors have complained about large trucks arriving at all times of the day and night, causing noise disturbances and blocking their own vehicles.

Eddie Gershon, spokesperson for Wetherspoon, emphasizes that the proposed screen was designed by acoustic experts. If granted permission, it would allow customers to use the courtyard, which was voluntarily closed in April 2022 due to noise complaints. He asserts Wetherspoon’s commitment to being a good neighbor and willingness to collaborate with residents and Dublin City Council to address any concerns.

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