herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Plans to redevelop former Garda HQ site stalled because it may disrupt marriage-counselling sessions

The Garda Harcourt Square HQ
The Garda Harcourt Square HQ

A major re-development of a landmark Dublin site has been stalled - because it may disrupt marriage-counselling sessions.

Accord, the country's best-known marriage-counselling service, is appealing plans to redevelop the former Garda HQ site on Harcourt Street.

The plan has been stalled by the objection, which claims that the building work may disrupt Accord's marriage counselling sessions. These take place in its building adjacent to the site.

Earlier this year, Hibernia Reit announced that it had acquired the site for €70m.

In April, Hibernia lodged plans for a seven-block redevelopment.

Dublin City Council approved the project in May, despite an objection by Accord.

However, the major redevelopment is now on hold after Accord appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanala.

The appeal - lodged by Kiaran O'Malley & Co on behalf of Accord - states that "Accord has legitimate concerns about the nature and extent of the works proposed here, the likely impact upon their property and the potential consequences for the delivery of key services during the construction phase.

"Accord provides a wide range of counselling and advice services at 39 Harcourt Street immediately adjacent to the application site.

"Consultations regarding sensitive matters demand a relatively quiet environment, free from unwanted disturbance."

Hamper

As well as the permanent impact of the proposed development, the consultants state that Accord are "worried that the construction activities will significantly hamper its ability to deliver ongoing services to clients at these premises".

The appeal stresses that Accord does not object in principle to the redevelopment.

The Dublin City Council planner who recommended that planning be granted stated that the proposal would be a positive and welcome contribution to the streetscape.

A decision on the appeal is due from An Bord Pleanala later this year.

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