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Last Georgian mansion built in Dublin to be regenerated despite opposition

Two five-storey office blocks are to be built on either side of the house.

Aldborough House
Aldborough House
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

PLANS TO REGENERATE the last Georgian mansion built in Dublin, Aldborough House, with an office development on the site have received the green light.

This follows Dublin City Council giving the plan the go-ahead despite opposition to the scale of the plan by the Department of Arts and Heritage, An Taisce, the Irish Georgian Society and local people.

Reliance Investments Ltd is to construct 100,000 sq ft of office space in two five-storey blocks on either side of the house.

The house, located on Portland Row, was the second biggest Georgian private residence in Dublin after Leinster House.

Consultants for Reliance Investments told the city council the development will facilitate the reuse and restoration of the house and, upon completion, the house could be used as a corporate headquarters.

As part of the conditions of the planning permission, Reliance Investments must pay the city council €1.3 million in planning contributions, including a €470,000 contribution towards public infrastructure in the Luas C1 line area.

In the planning report recommending that planning permission be granted, the city council planner in the case stated: “Aldborough House is a culturally significant site to the north city and its recovery and reuse is overdue and will lead to the regeneration of a prominent site.”

The planner added: “The redevelopment of this site should contribute to the overall raising of awareness of the sites Georgian legacy of craftsmanship also.

“Furthermore, the proposed development will deliver a quantum of quality commercial office space with the potential to provide significant employment to the north inner city and further aid the regeneration of the area.

“The development as a whole will generate significant commercial activity and will allow for the provision of a more generous public realm onto Portland Row.”

Height and location 

In a submission to the council, the Department of Arts and Heritage stated: “The height and location of the new office buildings surrounding Aldborough House would dominate the historic building and could compromise its architectural integrity.”

The department recommended that a significant reduction in the potential impact in the development on the settings and visual amenity of Aldborough House is required.

Kevin Duff of the Dublin City Association of An Taisce told the council the current plan “would engulf and emasculate Aldborough House”.

Duff stated that the scale and quantum of development would destroy the relationship of the protected structure to its surroundings and its landmark prominence.

Duff added that the repair of the house and the securing of its future are urgent needs, but that the proposal requires significant revision.

The Irish Georgian Society also expressed “grave concern” over the scale and intensity of the planned redevelopment. A number of locals have also objected to the plan.

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Gordon Deegan

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