Re: Re: Should the Clarence Hotel redevelopment get permission?
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I’ve just had a look at the decision & it all hinges on “exceptional circumstances“, I can see this going to a legal challenge i.e. what is the legal definition of “exceptional circumstances“. I fail to see anything exceptional about it except that the design is “exceptional” (in a good or bad way depending on your point of view).
I don’t think the economic or hotel use justification could be realistically seen as “exceptional” in the city. There must be numerous places where the same considerations apply. Decision extracts:
“Accordingly, it is considered that the proposed development constitutes exceptional circumstances for
the purposes of section 57(10)(b) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 which
make it appropriate to permit the part demolition of the protected structures. The
proposed development, therefore, would not be contrary to the provisions of the
development plan when taken as a whole and would be in accordance with the proper
planning and sustainable development of the area“.
“In deciding not to accept the Inspectorâ€™s recommendation to refuse permission, the
Board considered that the development proposed, which involves the part demolition
of protected structures, is permissible because the exceptional quality of the design of
the proposed development, allied to the continuation of the historic hotel use on the
site constitute exceptional circumstances for the purposes of section 57(10)(b) of the
Planning and Development Act, 2000 and that the Board was not, therefore, precluded
from granting permission“.
They follow on with this definition of unique/exceptional, would a judge agree?
“The Board also considered that the unique circumstances of this case, that is, the
exceptional design quality, the conservation proposals and the architectural quality
and cultural significance of the remaining intact historic fabric of buildings on the site
would not constitute an undesirable precedent for the partial demolition of any other
protected structures, either in Dublin or nationally”.
Planning Register Reference Number: 1394/07
An Bord PleanÃ¡la Reference Number: PL 29S.226834
I’d like to see what happens if this is challenged in the courts as it would have wide ranging significance for other cases also. Let the games begin!