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RTÉ spent over €2.38 million on new Fair City set

Carrigstown received a major facelift earlier this year after RTÉ relocated the set.

RTÉ's Fair City set in 2010
RTÉ's Fair City set in 2010
Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

RTÉ HAS SPENT over €2.38 million on its new Fair City set, new figures show.

Carrigstown received a major facelift earlier this year after RTÉ relocated the set as a result of selling 8.64 acres of lands at its Donnybrook HQ for €107.5 million to Cairn Homes.

The new Fair City lott comprises of 11 separate sets and the set provides for a new home for McCoy’s pub, the Hungry Pig, the Dolphin Pod, the community centre, the Helping Hand charity shop and the other locations where the hit soap is shot.

Now, in response to a Freedom of Information request around the costs, the RTÉ FOI unit states that the €2.381 million total includes an element of non-recoverable VAT.

It stated: “This cost also included design, construction, set dressing and professional fees.”

The unit stated that “the decision to move the programme set was taken as a result of the sale of land at the Donnybrook campus. The money to pay for this capital project came entirely from funds generated by this land sale”.

The new Fair City lot took eight months to construct with a team of over 30 people from production, design and planning.

Commenting on the new set earlier this year, Fair City executive producer Brigie de Courcy described the set as “this rather fabulous new lot that we have been working on for a long time”.

She said that the new set represents “an exciting chapter in Fair City’s history”.

She said: “We started planning around six or eight years ago… We knew that the old lot – which was designed really in a piecemeal sort of a way, 29 years ago – was never going to be completely fit for purpose.”

In the new set, two new streets have been added to the Carrigstown footprint, Ballantine Road and Hessian Lane.

Planning

An Bord Pleanala gave the plan the go-ahead last year after a number of local residents appealed the city council decision to grant to the appeals board.

The residents’ consultant hit out at what he called the “unacceptable impacts of the proposed development”.

However, the board inspector in the case, Paul Caprani who recommended that planning permission be granted stated that “the new location of the Fair City set will have negligible impact on the residential or visual amenity on the residents living to the north of the site”.

Caprani stated that what is proposed is “not a large scale redevelopment of the lands in question but merely a relocation of a small film set within the campus approximately 150 metres west of the current site”.

In its formal order, the appeals board gave the plan the go-ahead stating that the proposal “would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, would not be prejudicial to public health, would generally be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience and would not seriously impact on natural heritage”.

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Gordon Deegan

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