Re: Re: Dundalk

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Louth, like many other counties, has a marvelous conservation officer, but such a role can only be a drop in the ocean with the sea of planning applications and unauthorised developments taking place across two of the largest towns in Ireland, plus an entire county of buildings. Expertise is needed amongst standard planning staff; this is the coalface where the action happens.

I’ve been watching this handsome pair of Edwardian houses on the Avenue Road for a number of years. This is them in 2007 looking precariously on the verge of descending into decay.

This is them precisely one year ago to this day, with the right-hand house burnt out.

And this is them today. Both burnt out.

This day next year, a planning file is being adjudicated on for their demolition?

Such a shame. From what can be made out of what remains, they had good staircases, timber-clad ceilings in the porches, pretty glazed timber doors and fibrous plaster flourishes. All gone.

It is upsetting that there is so little that is positive to report from a short visit to a town like Dundalk. And in all honesty, I have never ever visited a provincial Irish town and observed so much as a single decent contemporary intervention on a commercial street, anywhere. Architects must take the brunt of the blame for this, not planners.

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