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Dundrum's plan would tear heart out of the town

PLANNERS have turned down proposals for the latest extension to Dundrum Town Centre.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has refused permission for the plan for a new building that would have housed 14 shops, three restaurants and a gym.

In its refusal, the council said the plan would have had a "detrimental" impact on the streetscape and the historic heart of Dundrum.

The proposal involved the partial demolition of some of the 19th Century houses on the site, which would then have been incorporated into the design of the new building.


The four-storey block was to include a gym at basement level, with shops, restaurants and offices in the floors above. There would have been a pedestrian bridge link from the existing centre across Mill Lane to the new development at the rear of Pembroke Cottages.

Heritage body An Taisce had opposed the plan.

In its decision, the council said the building represented overdevelopment of the site, "would be visually incongruous with the existing streetscape and would seriously injure the visual amenities of adjoining properties".

"Having regard to the design, scale, massing, proximity to existing protected structures -- the Mill House and Pembroke Cottages, and an Architectural Conservation Area at Pembroke Cottages, it is considered that the proposed development would have an overbearing impact and would detract from the existing protected structures and Architectural Conservation Area," planners concluded.

In a submission to the planning authority, An Taisce said it was vital to conserve the late Victorian character of Dundrum crossroads and that Ashgrove Terrace was a "connecting link".

"Our committee appreciates the thinking and creativity which has gone into this development proposal, and the evident effort to retain the late Victorian ambience, and a linkage between Deveney's and the old Mill House", it stated.

"However, in our opinion the objective has not been achieved." An Taisce said design elements it believed were missing included the roof profile of the existing houses, including the chimney stacks, without which it would be "emasculated and rendered bland".

The group believed there was still adequate space for the development of a "substantial building" despite the changes it sought. It also felt the decision to include six courses of brick above the window arches of the terrace would have "the curious effect of giving the facade the feel of an industrial building".