Residents oppose demolition of buildings in Dunshaughlin


MORE THAN 800 residents of Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, are appealing against the county council’s decision to grant the demolition of three historic buildings in the town to make way for a new shopping centre.

Last March Cusack Homes sought permission from Meath County Council for the development which includes a 4,239 sq m anchor retail unit, five smaller shops, two offices and 323 parking spaces on a site off Main Street.

The application sought permission for the demolition of a boundary wall but did not seek the demolition of any buildings.

However, last April the council sought revisions from the developer following concerns about traffic safety related to the proposed entrance off Main Street to the development.

Last September the applicants submitted proposals to allow for a changed entrance which included the demolition of mid- to late-19th century buildings including an old industrial building, dating from the 1860s, listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The revisions also include the demolition of two late 19th century houses known locally as Gogan’s home and pub.

The houses were in use until recently and while one is currently vacant the other is still occupied by an estate agent’s firm.

Dunshaughlin Tidy Towns Committee will tomorrow lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanála, including more than 800 signatures from residents, against the council’s decision, which they say will destroy the architectural heritage of the village.

An architectural report commissioned by the committee states that the council had contravened its own statutory plans in permitting the demolition that would remove buildings of architectural and historic importance which should be on the record of protected structures and would destroy the distinctive street pattern of the town.

Noel Larkin, a local quantity surveyor who is appealing to An Bord Pleanála on behalf of 16 businesses in the town, said the loss of the historic buildings would leave a “large tooth gap” which would have a serious impact on the character of Dunshaughlin.

A spokeswoman for the council said it would not comment on a live planning application.

The closing date for submissions to An Bord Pleanála is tomorrow.