Thursday 29 January 2009

Locals appeal demolition of Stella cinema

A PROPOSAL to demolish the 86-year-old Stella cinema on Lower Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6 has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála by local residents who fear there is asbestos in its roof.

The residents are opposing a decision by Dublin City Council to grant planning permission to Highfield Estates Ltd to replace the cinema with a four-storey building incorporating a fitness centre on ground and first floor level, shops facing out onto Lower Rathmines Road and four apartments above.

In their appeal to An Bord Pleanála, the residents of Swanville Place ask how Dublin City Council could grant planning permission without a health and safety plan for the removal of what they believe is an asbestos roof on the old two-screen cinema.

Other concerns include the height of the proposed building which they say will “seriously erode light” to their homes and create “a boxed-in effect to the front of the houses at 5-7 Swanville Place” and overshadow the rear of 4 Swanville Place.

They say construction at Swanville has been ongoing for the last five years and neither fire or ambulance services can reach houses at the top of Swanville due to parking and construction traffic.

They are also concerned that developers will use the rear of 5-7 Swanville Terrace for the removal of waste or as a route for building equipment.

They say the foundations of houses at Swanville Place are 200-years-old and are at risk of structural damage.

The Stella cinema opened in 1923 and was bought by the Ward Anderson chain in 2003 from the O’Grady family and closed a year later.

Irish Times

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