WTF are Dublin City Council doing outside City Hall?

9th February 2013
Press Release

What is the concrete slab outside Dublin City Hall and why is there no consent for it?

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications Officer of An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland stated this morning “I was walking up Dame Street towards Christchurch and Tailors’ Hall and just gone past Dublin City Hall, when I had a WTF moment. There in the middle of Cork Hill is a monstrous concrete slab – what is it and how did it get there?”.

He went on to say “Crossing the road at Cork Street was always entertaining as cars often swept up Dame Street and around the corner, leaving one trapped in the middle of the road,. As this monstrosity covers half the crossing in a perceived island of safety and I carried on up Lord Edward Street still pondering the slab. When myself and a taxi driver who was trying to swing around the slab had another WTF moment”.

But Ian Lumley, An Taisce’s Built Environment and Heritage Officer, is ahead of the game and already in communication with the City Council.

Will the City Council answer his questions please

Fiachra Worrell,

Planning Enforcement

Dublin City Council

Civic Offices

Wood Quay

Dublin 8 08.02.13

Re: Legal Complaint – Re: Erection of Concrete Base Structure and No. 3 Flagpoles adjacent to City Hall at Cork Hill, Dublin.

Dear Mr Worrell,

Further to our email to Michael Philips City Engineer yesterday and to our telephone conversation this afternoon we thank you for confirming that there has been no consent under Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001.

The concrete structure already inserted and proposed flag pole placement is highly injurious to the setting of major protected structures namely the City Hall, main entrance to Dublin Castle and the former Newconem Bank now the Rates Office.

This is one of the city's iconic architectural ensembles featuring in a Malton print and State Visit arrivals to Dublin Castle.

The main pediment of the City Hall has three flag poles and the Rates Office three on the portico. The insertion of flagpoles on this site is unnecessary and unjustified apart from being visually deleterious.

In addition to this the structure erected is a waste of public money.

We do not consider any claim that the work is exempt from Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 consent because of sub threshold cost of the project applies and also because of the location of the works affecting major Protected Structures.

The claim made by Paul Heffernan Media Relations and Corporate Communications, Dublin City Council, this afternoon that “the structure is to provide more protection to pedestrians on this street. City Hall is on the Dublin walk from Trinity to Kilmainham and the left turn from Parliament St can be very busy, the works therefore provide a traffic calming measure. A part 8 wasn't necessary", has no basis.

Traffic calming has already been achieved by the erection of the line of black bollards half way across Cork Hill and there is no need for an additional structure particularly the large lumpy intrusive concrete structure inserted.

We request that the concrete base be removed forthwith and that no further works proceed.

We are also referring the matter to the OPW and Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Lumley

Built Environment & Heritage Officer

adminplan@antaisce.org

ENDS

For further information, please call:

Charles Stanley-Smith, An Taisce Communications – Tel: 087 2411995

James Nix, Operations Director, An Taisce – Tel: 086 8394129

Email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

Notes:

Is it socially accepted for the Communications Officer of An Taisce to use the term WTF Image available at http://www.antaisce.ie/Portals/0/images/Press/cityhallslab.jpg Letter available http://www.antaisce.ie/Portals/0/images/Press/20130207-DC-CORKHILL.pdf

Local Association: