herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

67 objections made against €150m plan to redevelop Clerys

Developers want to ‘restore and regenerate’ Clerys Picture: Frank McGrath
Developers want to ‘restore and regenerate’ Clerys Picture: Frank McGrath

Sixty-seven objections have been lodged against the contentious €150m Clerys redevelopment plan, with unions and politicians expressing their opposition in support of the sacked Clerys workers.

The plan by OCS Properties Ltd is to transform the property into a six-storey retail and office scheme, including a top-floor area with outdoor dining.

The precinct plan, total- ling 350,000 square feet, also includes a 176-bedroom hotel linked by a bridge to the O'Connell Street building.

Documents lodged with the city council by OCS show that the so called Project D1 will create 3,990 jobs.

Vibrant

Economic consultants employed by OCS state that over the first 20 years of Project D1, it would contribute €6.6bn to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and €1.7bn to the exchequer.

Architects Henry J Lyons have told the council that the proposal "seeks to generate a vibrant quarter within the centre of the city which will see the repair, restoration and regeneration of the original Clerys building".

The lodging of the planning application comes 14 months after the abrupt closure of the department store after 162 years that resulted in the loss of 460 jobs.

The period for lodging objections is now closed.

Along with more than 50 former Clerys workers, the country's biggest union, Siptu, and the Communications Workers Union (CWU) have lodged submissions.

They have been joined by local politicians Brid Smith TD of People Before Profit (PBP), senator Kevin Hunphreys (Labour) and a host of council members including Dermot Lacey (Labour), Janice Boylan (SF), Gaye Fagan (SF), Andrew Keegan (PBP), Hazel De Nortuin (PBP), Tina McVeigh (PBP) and John Lyons (PBP).

Siptu divisional organiser Ethel Buckley has told the council that "the appalling treatment of the Clerys workers has been the subject of public outcry and left a lasting negative legacy over the Clerys building".

She said planning permission should only be granted to the new owners of Clerys if they agree to specific enforceable social clauses which should include a fair settlement for the former Clerys employees.

Former Dublin Labour TD Joe Costello made a joint submission with his wife, former Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello.

They state that "the new proposals would . . . interfere with the character of Clerys building and impact negatively on the national monument, namely the GPO".

A decision by the council is due later this month.

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