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Image: Dublin City Council

Council refuses planning permission for Goodman office block on historic Dublin city centre street

The proposal had been opposed by An Taisce and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Jan 14th 2020, 11:33 AM 22,451 24

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has today refused planning permission to  contentious plans by a Larry Goodman family backed company to demolish a group of historic buildings in Dublin city centre to make way for a new office development.

Last November, Goodman firm, Ternary Ltd lodged plans to demolish 47, 48 & 49 Kildare Street and No 1 Nassau Street to make way for a new office development.

The plan provoked strong opposition from An Taisce, the Kilkenny Group and others with the Department of Culture and Heritage telling the Council that the proposal “represents a significant and adverse loss of built heritage and a detrimental change in this quarter which the Dept cannot support”.

Now, in a comprehensive refusal, the city council has ruled that the proposal “would give rise to the loss of the original historic fabric and urban grain and have a seriously adverse impact on the remaining historic streetscape of Kildare Street and Nassau Street.

The council stated that the proposal “would seriously injure the settings of the adjoining protected structures and, as a consequence, set an unwanted precedent for similar type development and would be incompatible with the established character of the subject site and the local area”. 

The council also ruled that the proposal “would seriously injure the architectural character and setting of the adjoining protected structures and the wider historic cityscape”. 

It stated: “The proposal, including the elongated facade on Kildare Street, fails to reference the rhythm of the original building blocks and would constitute a visually obtrusive and insensitive form of development.” 

The planning authority stated that the proposal materially contravenes various sections and policies of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022, which seeks to protect the special interest of protected structures and discourage any development which would not relate sensitively to the conservation area. 

The council stated: “The proposal would be contrary to the provisions of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022 and the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

The decision of the council follows the Department of Culture and Heritage stating that it “strongly recommends a rethink of the proposed development in this case”.

In a five-page objection, it stated that it is concerned that “the proposed use for this building will significantly undermine its cultural heritage significance in the city”.

The deaprtment claimed that “the design approach is based on optimising the provision of commercial accommodation and impacts negatively on the architectural exceptional Doneraile House”.

It stated that “this part of the city is recognised internationally for its built heritage” and “extensive demolitions and removal of this built heritage legacy in this context would warrant careful consideration and justification – neither of which is evidenced in the subject planning application”.

In planning documentation lodged with the application, architects for the scheme, Henry J Lyons told Dublin City Council that the development seeks to sensitively introduce a contemporary commercial building into the historic streetscape of Kildare Street whilst protecting the fabric of the protected structure at No 2 Nassau Street.

The architects state that the design proposals lodged with the plan seek to make a positive contribution to the Kildare and Nassau Street streetscapes by providing an elegantly designed and carefully proportioned building which respects the established building line.

Ternary now has the option of appealing the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

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Gordon Deegan

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