Plea to stop restoration


Planning &Development: Plans to restore the Martello Tower at Bartra Cove in Dalkey, Co Dublin and build a separate residence beside it will "severely degrade" and go towards "obliterating the tower's historic purpose", according to An Taisce.

The Bartra Rock Residents Committee has also appealed planning permission granted by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to its owner, Mrs Helen Stephenson, for the project last month. It says that the development will have a "severe and permanent impact on the architectural heritage and setting" of the tower.

The proposed development at the tower, built at the start of the 19th century, will involve the restoration and conversion of the tower, a protected structure, and the construction of an adjacent three-bedroom single-storey residence.

This will involve the addition of a glass structure, which will curve to match the tower and boundary walls. A spiral staircase from the new building will lead to a glass walkway and onto the tower.

In a strongly worded appeal, An Taisce urged the planning board to refuse permission for the additional structure to the Stephensons, who, it said, are "seeking official legal permission to interfere with this item of legally protected national heritage".

The plans to build a residence adjacent to the tower "creates a severely negative, retrograde precedent not just for this but all other monuments and protected structures" and will "detract from the ambience and appropriate appearance" of the historic setting, according to An Taisce.

"Imagine the Italians permitting a glass and metal wrap-around structure at the base of and physically connecting to the Colosseum," An Taisce submitted in its appeal.