Re: Re: Should the Clarence Hotel redevelopment get permission?
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This thread was mentioned on Morning Ireland today with some posts read out.
In contrast with the other posters, I am happy there will be a new hotel and I look forward to it opening.
There are some factors in favour of the decision:
The applicants previous development on the same site 12 years ago was one of the highest quality projects in Dublin. Materials and finishes were to the highest standards and the end product was an addition to the city. So they have form.
The company I worked for used to put its important clients in the Clarence and the clients were always delighted. The hotel had character and wasn’t just another 5 star insta-palace.
The new hotel is not a massive incongruous highrise in a low rise area. It’s a midrise 6+2 structure. I would suggest that this is a better height for development than the rubbish strewn along the quays in the past decades. Hello Statoil, Ellis and Arran Quay apartments, Bachelors Walk, the list goes on almost as far as the quays themselves. But even these McCrap apartment buildings are better than the pallisade fenced overgrown parking lots that preceded them.
Conservation is worthwhile for buildings that have over the years come to be recognised as distinguished, beautiful, significant. And it is worthwhile preserving buildings that are not individually outstanding but whose loss would detract from a coherent whole such as a Georgian terrace. But Wellington quay is not Merrion Square. It’s a higgledy piggledy collection of old and new buildings of varying heights. The older buildings are mostly shabby and the newer ones mostly cheap budget-constrained temporary structures.
I don’t see why the organs of the state have any business deciding what is ‘good design’ or aesthetically pleasing or what appears bulky or what is incongruous with its neighbours. Like all these planning decisions, the judgement is essentially random: one person likes a new building and another doesn’t. I would favour a simpler planning regime with more measurable criteria such as allowable building heights , plot ratios and so on.