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RTE gets green light in Fair City buildings battle

THE show will go on for Fair City after Dublin City Council ruled that RTE could keep its outdoor sets.

The council has given the broadcaster the green light over plans to build a new Carrickstown neighbourhood.

City planners decided that Montrose bosses could also construct a new film set, three-quarters the size of the existing model.

Having raised concerns over the impact of the structures on the nearby German ambassador's residence, the council gave the green light to RTE.

Based on the scale of the proposal, the "development would not seriously injure the residential amenities of the area", it said.

RTE had sought permission to retain an external film set at a site measuring 420sqm and the construction of a new film set, measuring 327sqm.

It said the structures and Portacabins would vary in height from 7.4m to 20.6m.

The local authority raised concerns about the potential for "overlooking and surveillance" of the diplomat's home at Danesfield from the Donnybrook site.

To address the problem, the council attached a condition that the first floor windows facing the ambassador's property should "not be openable".

RTE had outlined how Fair City is a staple in the production schedule and the station hoped the series would run for the foreseeable future.

It argued that the noise generated by the filming of a drama series was inconsequential given it comprised external street scenes.

In 2011, RTE won a battle with the council over the sets, depicting the fictional Dublin suburb of Carrigstown.

An Bord Pleanala came down on the side of the broadcaster, saying the station should be able to keep the structures for three years, rather than just one. The three-year period runs out next year.

In its latest ruling, the council imposed a 12-month lifespan for the new development, which could prompt RTE to return to An Bord Pleanala to seek an extension.


The broadcaster was previously allowed keep the sets despite strong objections.

Among the objectors was Busso von Alvensleben, the then German ambassador to Irel

In a letter to the council, he complained of explosions and all-night works on the set at Montrose in Dublin 4.

Official functions at the embassy have been disrupted by noise coming from the site, he said.

The diplomat's Danesfield residence on Seaview Terrace adjoins RTE's grounds.

Officials living there had been woken by explosions coming from the set on one occasion, the letter said.

On another occasion, German representatives contacted gardai after builders had been asked to stop hammering at 1.30am.

The officials again phoned the gardai in Donnybrook at 2.15am when the noise had not stopped.

The RTE workers finally ceased their construction job after gardai phoned them.

An embassy representative made a formal complaint to the city council later that day.