Wednesday 28 May 2008

Council says yes to Hume Street Hospital plan

DUBLIN CITY Council has given the green light for the redevelopment of the former Hume Street Hospital, which was purchased by businessman Michael Kelly for €30 million in 2006.

The prestigious building off St Stephen's Green will be transformed into a serviced office centre while a restaurant and wellness centre will be installed in the basement.

There will also be a public museum in an extension at the rear of the former hospital.

However, the council has imposed 17 separate conditions on the development, many of which relate to the site's architectural and archaeological conservation.

Kelly's serviced office company, Glandore House, submitted a similar planning application last year but the local authority rejected it on the grounds that it breached the city's development plan for the area and failed to comply with the property's Z8 zoning requirements.

The proposal was judged to be an over development because of its "excessive scale, bulk, massing and site coverage" and it was regarded as "a serious intrusion on the character and setting of the protected structure".

Glandore House, which runs two business centres in Dublin and a third in Belfast, was also criticised for allocating too much of the property to office use, contravening the Z8 zoning. But in its refusal, the council stated it might have relaxed these restrictions had the proposal delivered a "clear conservation gain".

In this second application Glandore House has committed itself to extensive conservation repair work on the protected structures of 3-8 Hume street and 16 Ely Place.

The company has permission to demolish a number of buildings at the rear of the five interconnecting Georgian houses that front onto Hume Street and intends to replace them with a four-storey atrium and a six-storey business centre with 16 car-parking spaces in the basement.

However, the council's numerous conditions mean Mr Kelly's plans for a restaurant and wellness centre in the basement of the Georgian properties could be in jeopardy if a significant archaeological discovery is made there. If that happens, the local authority has stipulated that any remains must be preserved in situ.

In addition to the various conservation requirements, the council has also imposed noise restrictions on the demolition and construction phases of the scheme and requested that Glandore House pay €108,799.80 towards the construction of the Metro in accordance with Section 49 of the Development Act 2000-2006.

Architects, P&A Lavin Associates, has drafted the new design for the former Hume Street Hospital, which was originally known as the Dublin City Skin & Cancer Hospital. Founded in 1911 by Andrew Charles FRCSI, the Hume Street houses, including the portico entrance, were built by the surgeon and property developer Gustavas Hume in the latter part of the 18th century.

The Irish Times

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