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Objections to plan for new synagogue on southside

CITY planners are worried a proposed new synagogue project in Portobello will overshadow surrounding homes.

The Irish Jewish Museum has applied to Dublin City Council for permission to knock down 3-7 Walworth Road as part of the redevelopment.

If approved, it will consist of a new two-storey museum building with a cafe and synagogue at 3 and 4 Walworth Road in Dublin 8.

The new building would include archive storage space, an audiovisual room and a staff area. There will also be an exhibition space at ground and first-level as well as a new cafe, museum shop and a public space including a garden.


But the council has misgivings about the scheme, mainly because of the effect it might have on surrounding properties. In a request for additional information, the local authority expressed concern at the potential impact on adjoining homes "by reason of loss of light, overshadowing and visual impact".

Planners asked for revised plans to address the issues, which relate to the location of the first-floor exhibition space and a flight of stairs to the rear of the synagogue. The applicant was also requested to provide details of its events.

It comes following a series of objections to the plans.

Fine Gael councillor Kieran Binchy said the proposal is "too large and bulky for the site".

While he supports the "continued existence and development of the Irish Jewish Museum within what was historically the Jewish quarter of the city", he believes the current plans are unsuitable.

In a letter, Mr Binchy stated: "The sheer size and scale of the development is completely unsuitable for a row of terraced houses in a residential conservation area.

"The Irish Jewish Museum is a valuable asset to the city and an important historical and cultural site but it has to be sensitive to the fact that it is situated in a settled residential community," the councillor said.

The museum could not be reached for comment.

The former Walworth Road Synagogue fell into disuse and ceased to function in the early 1970s.

It was reopened with the establishment of the Irish Jewish Museum Committee in 1984. The museum now has six months to draw up revised plans and submit them to the council.