Plans for Press building criticised


A plan by The Irish Times Ltd to refurbish and extend the former Irish Press building on Burgh Quay, Dublin, which involves the demolition of an adjoining Georgian house, received a mixed response from Dublin city councillors at yesterday's monthly meeting of the planning and development committee of the council.

The plan also envisages the demolition of the entire facade of No 14 Burgh Quay - the former Irish Press printing works and editorial offices - and the addition of an extra floor, making five in all, to the present structure.

It is proposed that the building change its use from print production to offices, with the former printing works in the basement being converted to a car-park, with an entrance off Poolbeg Street.

A Dublin Corporation planning officer told the meeting it was concerned at two aspects of the plan, namely its height to wards the front on to the quays, and the demolition of No 13 which, he said, dated from the time of the Wide Streets Commissioners and was probably built by them, although not listed.

The Irish Times plan would deprive the Corn Exchange building next door of a "balancing" brick structure, as it is framed by two such Georgian brick houses, No 13 and a similar one on the other side.

Councillors were mixed in their reactions to the plan, with several expressing concern at the proposed development's bulk, although welcoming a move to upgrade the present structure, which several councillors criticised as ugly.

Mr Alan Robinson (PD), however, strongly criticised the plans, saying he was "very disappointed with The Irish Times Ltd's proposal, which would simply replace a wart, for that is what the Irish Press building is, with a boil."