Dublin City Council has given the green light to Hammerson’s latest phase of its planned €500 million transformation plan for the city centre despite the opposition of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and her predecessor Gerry Adams.
The council has granted planning permission to Hammerson-owned Dublin Central GP Ltd for the revamp of a protected structure, 61 O’Connell Street Upper that comprises the conservation, repair, refurbishment and adaptive reuse of the existing four storey commercial building.
The scheme is to include two licensed restaurant/cafe units with takeaway/collection facilities, three two bed apartments and a gym/leisure studio at basement level.
The council gave the green light after concluding that the proposal would be in accordance with Development Plan policy, which supports bringing upper floors into use, reducing vacancy and rehabilitating and reusing existing older buildings.
The proposed development, the council concluded, is unlikely to have a negative impact on the amenities of adjoining properties.
The 48 page planner’s report stated that further information lodged by the applicants had addressed the concerns previously raised by the council.
In his objection, Gerry Adams wrote that as the planning application forms part of the overall Hammerson/Dublin Central GP site, it is “is totally out of scale with existing development locally, particularly at Moore Lane, O’Rahilly Parade and Moore Street”.
Three other planning applications related to the overall plan are being adjudicated upon by An Bord Pleanála.
Mary Lou McDonald told the council that the current application – and earlier versions – do not fully recognise the Moore Street area as a group of structures of special architectural, historical, technical, social and cultural interest or contribute to the appreciation of a Protected Structure.
The Dublin Central TD stated the proposed development as a whole “will erase, for all time, Moore Street’s unique plot grains and courtyards which give this site its historic core, differentiating it from other competing locations nationally and internationally”.
Ms McDonald added that the individual planning applications when seen as one include the appropriation and invasion of the curtilage of the National Monument and protected structures throughout the site.
Planning consultant for the applicants, Stephen Little & Associates, told the council the proposed development forms part of a much larger, very significant regeneration project planned for the area.
The planning consultants stated that the proposal increases activity on Henry Place, which will contribute to the overall regeneration of the area as a result of increased footfall.