Department of Culture strongly objects to Goodman Kildare Street plan

Proposal would see demolition of several historic buildings

The Dublin 2 proposed development would mostly accommodate offices. The plan has provoked strong opposition from An Taisce, the Kilkenny Group and others.

The Dublin 2 proposed development would mostly accommodate offices. The plan has provoked strong opposition from An Taisce, the Kilkenny Group and others.

 

The Department of Culture has strongly objected to 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, Ternary Ltd lodged plans to demolish numbers 47, 48 and 49 Kildare Street and 1 Nassau Street to make way for a new office development. 

The plan has provoked strong opposition from An Taisce, the Kilkenny Group and others. Now the department has told Dublin City Council the proposal “represents a significant and adverse loss of built heritage and a detrimental change in this quarter which the department cannot support”.

The department said it “strongly recommends a rethink of the proposed development in this case”. It also raised concerns “the proposed use for this building will significantly undermine its cultural heritage significance in the city”.

The department argued that the planned “monolithic block has a significant and detrimental impact on the surviving vista along Nassau Street arising from its relentless elongated facade treatment which fails to reference the logic of the original street plan, its materials and the rhythm of the original building plots”.

Describing the site as a unique city block comprised of protected structures and historic buildings, the department claimed “the design approach is based on optimising the provision of commercial accommodation and impacts negatively on the architectural exceptional Doneraile House”.

The department said “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”.

‘Unjustified proposal’

The proposed project as documented “represents an unjustified proposal in terms of the surviving cultural significance and would, in terms of planning precedent, signal an inappropriate development approach to protected structures in general”, the department said. It noted the proposed removal of buildings included early Dutch Billy structures and 18-century structures and said this was “in principle unacceptable and undermines built heritage legislation and practice”.

In planning documentation lodged with the application, the architects for the scheme, Henry J Lyons, told Dublin City Council that the development sought to sensitively introduce a contemporary commercial building into the historic streetscape of Kildare Street while protecting the fabric of the protected structure at 2 Nassau Street.

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

A decision is due by the council on the application later this month.