Tuesday 22 August 2017

Developer 'welcomes' decision to protect building where he plans to open new venue

Stock picture
Stock picture
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Developer Paddy McKillen Jr has said he 'welcomes' the proposal to add a landmark Dublin building where he plans to open a new venue to the list of Dublin's protected buildings.

The businessman plans to open the former Stella Cinema building in Rathmines, Dublin, as a venue which will include a cocktail area and a cinema by late summer.

Work was carried out this week on the facade of the building, sparking concerns locally.

However, a spokeswoman for Mr McKillen's firm Press Up Entertainment said this work was to undo some work carried out in the 70s and 80s in a bid to restore the building to its 'former glory' when it was opened in the 1922.

Stella Cinema where work is underway on the facade
Stella Cinema where work is underway on the facade

"It was altered a lot during the 1970s and 1980s when a large neon sign was erected and concrete cavity blocks were built over the original facade to support the sign," she said.

"The sign was removed two years ago by the previous owner and the cavity blocks supporting the sign were removed two days ago and not the original facade.  When the blocks were taken away, the original granite facade with a beautiful original window was revealed and the building is being restored back to this. 

"The original ceiling was also intact when they removed some interior additions.  It contains some beautiful mouldings and plasterwork which is being carefully restored and where required new moulds are being crafted to the original design."

"Paddy and his associated companies loves working with protected structures and has completed wonderful restorations throughout the city... he was not aware that a meeting was being held to start the process to list The Stella as a protected structure and he received no notification. 

"The work being carried out does not require planning permission. The building is being restored and brought back to its original format as when built in 1922.  He welcomes and will support efforts to list the building," she added.

Local councillors at a meeting of the South East Area Committee of Dublin City Council discussed the works on Tuesday and some requested the planning enforcement officer of the council investigate the matter.

Images taken during works on the exterior of the cinema
Images taken during works on the exterior of the cinema

Mr Paraic Fallon, an official with DCC, said the statutory effects of a protected structures notice do not come into effect until the committee agree to initiate them. This includes writing to those who own the building and publishing a newspaper notice.

Any restrictions on works only come into effect once the notification is in effect also he said.

The committee agreed to begin proceedings to add the building to the the list of protected buildings.

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