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Council plans to make historic Georgian houses homes again

HISTORIC Georgian houses in the south of Dublin's city centre will be given a new lease of life under plans being drawn up by Dublin City Council.

Around 20pc of the buildings on Merrion and Fitzwilliam squares and in the surroundings areas are currently vacant, according to council assessments.

Many of the offices that once occupied them have closed down owing to the recession and the council wants the structures returned to their intended use – as homes.

Jim Keogan, executive manager of the council's planning department said, that many of the buildings had lost their function as small offices with a medical and legal emphasis.

"We think there is a huge potential for the south Georgian core to revert back to a desirable residential area," he added.

The council's plan would involve refurbishing the buildings for residential use, without damaging their protected status.

Around 200 buildings have been assessed by the council for redevelopment.

Conservation architects have been hired to draw up templates advising on how owners or prospective buyers can convert the buildings.

The council has asked the architects for templates for the houses so that they can be converted into single family homes, apartments, mixed-use buildings or modern offices.

BENEFICIAL

The Irish Georgian Society worked with the council as it assessed what could be done.

"It's always beneficial having a use for the buildings and on top of that one that's sympathetic to their character," Donough Cahill, director of the society said.

lbyrne@herald.ie


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