Re: Re: Carlton Cinema Development

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Listen, this is symptomatic of planning the length and breadth of the state, where planning authorities contort and wriggle around their own polices and development plans to suit the majority of applications, especially major ones, that come up for assessment.

Aside from the myriad of other matters which may be deemed subjective with this case, on the simple matter of the Architectural Conservation Area alone, what was allowed through by DCC just defies reason. An ACA is a legally-binding statutory instrument, akin to Protected Structure or National Monument designations. Unlike policies of a development plan to which a planning authority need only have regard, an ACA is enforceable in the courts in terms of what is deemed to materially alter the character of the designated area. It is outrageous in this case that a whole chunk of a handsome terrace in the ACA be swept away (on Henry Street), that an historic, near grid-like street pattern be gouged out, and the readability of that area should be altered in order to cater for a short-term commercial gimmick of a monolith sloping structure with roof garden which displays absolutely no connection with that area. This is not to say that the area must be preserved in amber; it simply means that the existing context must be accounted for in the design, layout and architecture of the new quarter. The ‘feature’ garden building was simply rammed in as a token glitter ball with no relevance to its environs. The new entrance to O’Connell Street was similarly lacking in an appropriate interpretation of the urban street pattern. I fully agree with what has been ordered in respect of this junction, not just because a Henry Street-scaled opening it is a more sensitive solution in this historic environment, but moreover because it affords the opportunity to build something that we have been unable to do over the past two decades – namely a new street. To follow the established street pattern not only better integrates the new scheme, it also helps to avoid Ilac Round II, whereby a new city quarter is created which will end up isolated and detached in terms of character and fashionability in years to come. The proposed wide columnar screen was a complete affront to that concept, never mind its existing environment.

I’d like to see the Bord’s order too, if anyone has it…

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