Ranelagh neighbours save corner shop in planning battle

Eamon Dunphy and Susan Jane White among locals defending amenity

Eamon Dunphy: said the shop was at the heart of the community. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Eamon Dunphy: said the shop was at the heart of the community. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

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Football pundit Eamon Dunphy, food writer Susan Jane White and other residents of Ranelagh in south Dublin have won the latest round in their fight to save their local corner shop from demolition.

An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission to demolish the building housing Cullen’s Corner Shop and construct a four storey apartment building at 25 Lower Mount Pleasant Avenue.

The ruling overturns a decision of Dublin City Council to give Roy Turner the go-ahead for the development in February.

In a joint objection from local residents, Mr Dunphy and his wife, RTÉ commissioning editor Jane Gogan argued that the shop was at the heart of their community.

“Neighbours meet and exchange information and get to know each other in a way that would not otherwise be possible”.

Other objectors included food writer Susan Jane White and her husband Trevor White, director of the Little Museum of Dublin; and former chairman of Independent News and Media James Osbourne.

The Whites stated that the proposal “will demolish a neighbourhood shop and residential amenity in use for several decades by a very popular neighbourhood figure”.

Excellent service

Objecting to the plan, Mr Osbourne stated that Cullen’s shop had been in existence for more than 50 years and provided an excellent service to the local community.

The appeals board refused planning for the development after its planning inspector in the case stated that the proposed development would seriously injure the amenities and character of the area and depreciate the value of properties in the vicinity.

Allowing for the possibility of a scaled-down project, the inspector said “a smaller scale suitably designed and integrated apartment development is acceptable in principle in this location”.

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