Re: Re: ILAC centre

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Watching the new Dunnes Stores development on Henry Street going up over the past year, it became increasingly apparent through the scaffolding that the window courses were substantially different to that of the host terrace. Similarly the ground floor was punching way above the established shopfront line.

And now we know why 😮

Even watching the steel frame going up back in the summer, deep down I just knew a revised application had been submitted in place of the initial proposal for a facade retention of sorts.

What has been allowed through on the entirely historically intact east Henry Street is nothing short of a scandal – without question the worst planning decision made for a city centre commerical street in at least the past five years. It beggars belief that something like this can still happen in 2006.

Not only is Henry Street defined by characterful post-1916 red brick buildings and terraces, this was also the longest and most impressive unified commerical terrace in the entire city centre. Unlike Upper O’Connell Street’s terrace of monolithic buildings, this redbrick streetscape had a much more initimate modest character, which coupled with the terrace across the road lent Henry Street its distinctively warm and pleasant atmosphere. To have this shattered by the most gharish, intrusive, brutish box clad in wetroom tiles of tacky four star hotel proportions is stomach churning. And not only this, the enormous, greedy display windows immediately suck the life out of the primacy of Arnotts on the streetscape, which when coupled with the distraction of the new street corner here, is going to erode the character of Henry Street even further. Not that watered down neoclassicisim is the last word in identity generation, but its replacement with utterly anonymous ‘anywhere’ architecture merely adds insult to injury. At least on South Great George’s Street the same architects had a curving facade and muddled streetscape to play with – but here they’ve merely applied the same formula, sandy Pritt Stick tiles included, to a regimented streetscape. It couldn’t be any more incongruous if they tried.

ABP would surely have chucked this out the window given half the chance. Bedazzled by the allure of a major retail player boosting their concept of a ‘northern quarter’, DCC clearly must have been drooling on the pages too much to even notice what was actually proposed. And this in the face of the Development Plan waxing lyrical about reinforcing streetscapes, promoting sensitive redevelopment, creating and preserving identity, seeking to protect older buildings of merit that are not protected structures etc etc etc.

Shame on this decision 😡

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