Developers behind controversial plans for the historic Moore Street site in Dublin were last night studying a report promoting strict conditions on its regeneration.
A special advisory committee of Dublin City Council has recommended that Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan “withhold consent” for development in deference to a number of stipulations. Planning for the redevelopment of the area has already been granted to the developer, Chartered Land, but the Minister has to give it the final go-ahead due to its protected status.
“At present, the current permission, if implemented, would severely compromise the historic relevance . . . of the national monument site,” according to the advisory group’s just-published report.
“This would lead to the buildings at 14 to 17 Moore Street being severely overshadowed by the close proximity of the proposed six-storey building which, if built, would be situated approximately 10 metres away from the existing rear [of those buildings],” it added.
It also says that “in the event that the Minister consents to works on a portion of the national monument site” this should be on condition of a “substantial increase” in the depth and width of a proposed courtyard area to the rear of the buildings “so as to give a better setting to the national monument buildings, reflecting their dignity and status”.
Mr Deenihan is due to make a final decision following the completion of a public submission process surrounding the environmental impact statement. The project has been shrouded in controversy as the buildings in question sheltered rebels during the 1916 Rising and there is a sense of urgency that their future is decided ahead of centenary celebrations.
“The committee would recommend minimal intervention on original features during restoration and that the interior of the properties be left . . . as they would have existed where Pearse and the other leaders occupied them during the final hours of the Rising,” it says.
“A commemorative centre dedicated to the 1916 Rising should be an integral part of these buildings.”
Last night, a spokesman for Chartered Lands said the report was being considered with architectural and conservation consultants and they would respond once that process had been completed. The company has welcomed the fact that the final report recommended a “withholding of consent” based on conditions as opposed to refusal, as had appeared in an earlier, leaked draft, “We are studying it and will respond to it in detail,” he said.
The committee chairman Cllr Nial Ring said he was satisfied that a cross party of politicians had managed to reach consensus. Sinn Féin councillor Micheál Mac Donncha said: “This key recommendation reflects the widespread opposition in this city, nationally and internationally to the Chartered Land plan which would encroach on this historic 1916 site and engulf it in a giant shopping mall.”
Source: The Irish Times