State wants post-1916 buildings on Moore Street protected

Saving 13 houses in place of shopping centre could open council to compensation claims

The Department of Arts and Heritage is asking Dublin City Council to put 13 buildings on Moore Street on its record of protected structures. Olivia Kelly reports. Video: Enda O'Dowd

 

The Government wants Dublin City Council to protect buildings on Moore Street built after the 1916 Rising by adding them to the Record of Protected Structures (RPS).

Some of the 13 houses proposed for addition to the record are scheduled for partial demolition to make way for the €1.25 billion Dublin Central shopping complex.

All but one of the houses was built after the Rising, but all have been attributed “regional significance” by the Department of Arts and Heritage on its National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Dublin’s RPS focuses on protecting the city’s Georgian and Victorian architecture and only includes 20th-century buildings if they are considered “exceptional”. Inclusion on the RPS gives extra protection against development and guards against demolition.

Just four houses on Moore Street are on the current RPS. These are numbers 14-17, designated national monuments in 2007 because of their association with the Rising. They date from about 1760 and have recently been bought by the State for the creation of a 1916 commemorative centre.

Planning

Of the 13 buildings for which the department is seeking protected structure status, 12 date from 1917-1920 and one from 1900. They have been given the status of regional significance because they “make a significant contribution to the architectural heritage within their region or area”.

The only premises pre-dating the Rising is number 59, a gable-fronted building from 1900. It is described in the inventory as “piercing the streetscape with its elaborate gable” and of having considerable importance for both the streetscape and the wider area.

On the opposite side of the street the terrace, from numbers 2-7, was built by Francis Bergin in around 1917 and maintains a “rhythmic composition” to the east side of the street.

Developer Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land has planning permission, which lasts until 2017, to demolish them, retaining just the facades, for the Dublin Central development.

Paraic Fallon, senior planner with the council’s conservation section, said there was a risk of compensation claims if these buildings were added to the RPS. “I would be of a mind to see what the situation is in 2017.”

Green Party councillor Ciarán Cuffe said protection should be in place ahead of the expiration of the planning permission. “If we have to make the choice between another damn shopping centre or protecting our heritage I’d come down on the side of protecting our heritage.”