Re: Re: Leinster Lawn expected to be restored during summer recess 2005
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@Today’s Irish Times wrote:
Retention of temporary car park at DÃ¡il gets green light
The politicians who run the DÃ¡il complex have decided to defy the planning laws and retain a temporary car park on Leinster Lawn for the foreseeable future, writes Stephen Collins, Political Correspondent.
In the meantime they intend to explore the possibility of building a two-storey, underground car park which could also be put to commercial use.
The Oireachtas Commission decided to retain the temporary car park, which was put down on Leinster Lawn in the late 1990s to enable construction of new office accommodation, until the underground car park can be built. That will not happen for at least four years.
The decision was taken by the commission even though it noted that “the current temporary car park was in contravention of the Part IX planning process which required the lawn to be reinstated following completion of the Leinster House 2000 works”.
The car park on the lawn is mainly used by DÃ¡il staff and journalists. Politicians have their own reserved spaces to one side of the lawn or in front of Leinster House. The facility is available free to all serving and former members of the Oireachtas.
The temporary car park was put in when the spaces traditionally used by staff were closed off during the building work on Leinster House in 2000. However, it has remained a permanent feature since the new block opened six years ago.
In the meantime, the Government decided that, in the long-term, all surface parking should be removed from the Kildare Street and Merrion Street sides of Leinster House to an underground car park.
Experts from the Office of Public Works told the Oireachtas Commission in May that preliminary discussions with the National Treasury Management Agency indicated good potential for public/private investment in the project. This would be based on the possibility for revenue generation, which in turn depends on the level of availability of spaces for commercial use.
“It is clear that the viability of the project as a ‘PPP’ type investment with a sufficient income stream would be very dependent on there being a significant availability of spaces for private use, eg at night, on non-sitting days and/or at weekends,” said the commission minutes.
It noted that construction of the underground car park was unlikely to commence within two years, and would take a further two years to complete. In that context, it took the view that it would be impractical and a poor use of public funds to restore the lawn only to dig it up in two years’ time to build the underground car park.
Â© The Irish Times