Friday 15 December 2017

Additional time given to develop Carlton complex

An artist's
impression of
the new
plan for the
Carlton Cinema
on O'Connell
Street in
Dublin, which
has been
An artist's impression of the new development plan for the Carlton Cinema on O'Connell Street in Dublin, which has been approved
How developers had initially intended to utilise the site – complete with a 15-storey 'sky garden'
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE company behind a €900m shopping complex on Dublin's O'Connell Street has been given extra time to build the project.

An Bord Pleanala has approved revised plans to develop a shopping centre at the Carlton Cinema site and has given the developers seven years, instead of the usual five, to complete the project.

And last night Chartered Land, controlled by businessman Joe O'Reilly, who owns the Dundrum Shopping Centre and the nearby ILAC Centre, said it planned to have the complex finished in time for the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

The anchor tenant will be UK retail giant, John Lewis, and the development will include 83 retail units, 14 cafes, 22 apartments and more than 750 car parking spaces.

The maximum height of all buildings will be six storeys, and houses at 14-17 Moore St -- where the rebel leaders made their last stand against British forces -- will be preserved and a commemorative centre built.

Chief executive of Chartered Land, Dominic Deeny, said the company was "delighted" with the decision.

"It means we will be able to deliver a major retail-led 800,000sq ft development for Dublin city centre that will complete the regeneration of O'Connell Street and reposition it as the nation's premier retail street again," he said.

"This project is long overdue, as the last retail project to be completed in the city centre was the Jervis Street Shopping Centre in 1996."

Mr Deeny added that the "Dublin central" scheme would be completed in time for the 2016 centenary, and the national monument at 14-17 Moore Street fully restored in time.

The former Carlton cinema site, which sits on 2.7 hectares, has lain derelict for over 20 years and a number of attempts have been made to use it for a major regeneration scheme.


The permission granted by An Bord Pleanala is subject to 31 conditions, including a requirement that the facade of the Carlton cinema be moved.

The entrance from O'Connell Street will have to match existing street scales and street names such as Moore Lane will have to be retained.

The plans had included a 15-storey 'park in the sky', but the planning board earlier told the developers to remove this feature. The project was also delayed after prolonged legal action over site ownership.

Up to 3,500 construction jobs and 4,500 permanent jobs will be created, and the scheme will cost €900m.

Damien Cassidy, of the National Conservation and Heritage Group, said he was disappointed with the decision, but conceded that some form of development was inevitable.

"I would far more prefer that O'Connell Street be left as it was," he said. "O'Connell Street as it was was a recognised piece of architecture."

Irish Independent

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