Artist Ballagh opposing planned 14-storey building


ARTIST ROBERT Ballagh is one of almost 40 objectors to a proposal for a 14-storey building near his Dublin home, which would result in the destruction of 60 artists studios.

AB Properties has applied to Dublin City Council to demolish the 1940s Hendrons building on the corner of the Western Way and Dominick Street near Broadstone and replace it with a mixed use development including 48 apartments, an aparthotel, offices a restaurant, shop and a gallery or studio.

A 14-storey "landmark" building at the centre of the site, which is on a hill, would be visible from the city quays.

Ballagh, who lives just one street away from the proposed development said the scheme was totally inappropriate for the area, represented over-development and would have negative impact on the community.

He objected to the "destruction of a landmark 1940s modernist building and the subsequent loss of the Broadstone Studios and Gallery".

The industrial building had been built in 1946 for Hendrons Brothers, manufacturers of boilers, compressors and tools for the building industry, to house their machinery workshops. The building has for several years housed the Broadstone Artists Studios and Gallery.

The proposed scheme does contain plans for an artists studio or gallery, however it is primarily a residential and office development.

Labour city councillor Emer Costello, who lodged a joint objection with Labour TD Joe Costello, said the inclusion of the studio or gallery space was "sheer tokenism" and the height of the 14-storey tower was excessive.

"The Broadstone Studios is currently home to 60 artists studios and gallery space on this site with 10,00 square feet. These studios are very successful and make a significant contribution to the local community."

Ms Costello said she was also concerned about the inclusion of an aparthotel. Plans for the restaurant appeared to be more of a "communal dining room for the aparthotel than an actual restaurant local people could frequent". She also raised concerns that rooms in the aparthotel would be smaller than the standard for apartments and was worried about the impact the development would have on the nearby Kings Inns.

The application will be discussed by city councillors this week before a decision on the development is made by the city planners.