Tuesday, 1 November 2011

City buildings to be knocked down in revamp

BUILDINGS opposite the Spire are to be knocked down as part of the rejuvenation of a key part of the city centre.

Permission has been granted for the demolition of numbers 32 and 33 Henry Street despite opposition from a heritage body.

Percy Nominees Ltd applied for approval to knock down the structures and partially demolish and alter the interior of 68 and 69 O'Connell Street Upper.

While supporting the regeneration of the site, An Taisce strongly objected to elements of the plan.

"While the refurbishment and conservation element of this proposal is welcome, An Taisce cannot support demolition of historic streetscape buildings," the national trust stated.

It does not consider the "good quality" structures in this location "expendable".

"While we welcome the repair and conservation of the Georgian building on the corner of O'Connell Street and Henry Street, which appears to be original to the mid-18th century Gardiner's Mall development, we consider that the demolition and replacement of Nos 32 and 33 is unacceptable," An Taisce said.

The refurbished and rebuilt buildings will be developed as a single shop at the prime city centre location, facing the Spire and the GPO.

It will be accessed from O'Connell Street Upper, Henry Street and Henry Place.

Another objection came in from street traders in the Henry Place area who said the development may "eradicate" their business, leaving them with no income. One seller told Dublin City Council: "I believe this development would create an inordinate amount of noise and dust pollution for the duration of the build. This would make it virtually impossible to carry on my business."

Nevertheless, the local authority deemed the designs suitable to the location and granted permission.

However, it said Percy Nominees should agree proposals with the council to provide for the "continuing operation" of licensed street traders whose trading pitch would be directly affected by construction work.

Included in the other conditions is a requirement that historic features of the buildings be "reused where possible" to ensure all works are carried out "in accordance with best conservation practice".

The council granted permission for the project late last month but it is likely an appeal will be lodged with An Bord Pleanala.


Evening Herald


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