Re: Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Home Forums Ireland Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin! Re: Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!


“The absence of Archiseek for the past few weeks was unfortunate here…that and the total absence of any thinking or interest in planning/architecture these days. Everyone has given up it seems, or more likely emigrated to quality urban environments elsewhere. I was thinking this kind of nonsense would have gained a thread of its own a few years back.

So yes, what an interesting case this has been. This S42 provision has gone under the radar somewhat and was seen at its introduction in 2010 as a logical provision to tied us over until the market recovers. So I wonder…when will it be removed? When is the market judged to have sufficiently recovered to remove the provision? I bet none of our political dodos have even thought about that – least of all the all but invisible Planning Minister Jan O’Sullivan (who now moves on to Dept Education) having missed any real chance to reform and improve the planning system in the last few years.

The planning report is worth reading. The actual planner for the area – the one who knows what’s actually going on there, is tasked with implementing the LAP and ACA, and who just might be investing her time in its improvement – gave a reasoned argument as to why the changed policy framework made this development incompatible with the ACA. Her opinion was overruled in the most perfunctory manner by a colleague with no argument to justify his view that this rather bland design, one of a number to be proposed for Thomas Street during the boom years, would ‘greatly enhance the area’.
You can read the report here:

So what have we got now. Well we have a site which has lain in a state of semi-dereliction for 20 off years (I would say), with three substandard shops at its ground floor, with an ugly big hoarding stuck to its broken front …all this could potentially continue for another 5 years until the permission expires in 2019.

Maybe its just too difficult, within the flawed planning system we have, with the zero public buy-in that it has, to try and develop nuanced policies for areas like here and see them implemented.

I thought (the second part of) this article by Michael Clifford was quite illustrative of our planning predicament…if unconnected to the case above. In this instance its another planning decision made by Dublin City Council – here the Council upholding planning whereas on Thomas Street its been kind of dismissed.

The new villain of the piece in the City in the media’s eye is Owen Keegan of course…the ‘Butcher of Dun Laoghaire’ if you are to believe some. Everyone has it in for Mr Keegan, but here he appears to be simply upholding the planning and event licensing laws. Interestingly, I too noticed how quiet the GAA were about the debacle of Garth Brooks and I also wondered at the respect to them shown at the Dail Committee.

Damned if you do and damned if you dont in planning these days. You can be quite sure that the politicians who instate and maintain the planning system through legislation, couldn’t care less about it. And in this they are no different from the common populace. Planning is great in the abstract but when it affects what you want to do, then you dont want to know. All part of our love of the chaotic perhaps.

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