Re: Re: Leinster Lawn expected to be restored during summer recess 2005
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Well, of course, we’ve heard all this before, but for what it’s worth…
@The Sunday Times, October 26th wrote:
Paradise regained behind the Dail
Leinster Lawn to be restored after car-park plans are scrapped due to lack of funds Colin Coyle
They paved â€œparadiseâ€ and put up a parking lot. Now the government has been told that Leinster Lawn, a once lush green area behind the Dail and Seanad, will be restored.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) told Oireachtas officials last week that it plans to replant it in spring after plans for a 500-space underground car park at Leinster House were scrapped due to a lack of funds.
The lawn was taken away and replaced by a car park in July 1998 as a â€œtemporaryâ€ measure. Planning permission terms from Dublin city council stated that it should be reinstated by the end of 2000. This never happened, and the site now has a reputation as one of the capitalâ€™s biggest eyesores.
The space has been used as a parking apron for Dail staff, journalists and occasionally, TDs and senators, who also have their own parking spaces to the side of Leinster House.
More recently the OPW announced it would build an underground car park whichwould allow the lawn to be replanted, but this has been deemed financially unviable.
An OPW spokesman said: â€œWe plan to reinstate the lawn during the growing season next year.â€ Developers proved reluctant to take on the underground car park in a public private partnership. The Oireachtas argued that the park could be self-financing in 30 years.
Restoring the lawn has been the subject of campaigning by environmentalists since 1999, including by John Gormley, Minister for the Environment.
Ian Lumley of An Taisce said: â€œItâ€™s about time . . . The Department of the Environment has a new strategy to prevent people from paving over their front lawns to reduce localised flooding, so itâ€™s high time they heeded their own advice.â€
Leinster House was built in the late 18th century by the Earl of Kildare, who predicted that others would follow from the more genteel northside. The Georgian squares around Leinster House became the destination of choice for aristocrats.