herald

Friday 30 September 2016

State of Palestine puts in planning application for plush D4 embassy

Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek
Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek

The Mission of the State of Palestine in Ireland is applying to open an embassy in a protected building in upmarket Dublin 4.

A planning application was submitted to Dublin City Council last month by the office for the change of use of 8 Upper Leeson Street, in order to use it as an embassy.

In September last year, the Georgian Dublin address was listed for sale with a guide price of just under €1.5m.

It was touted as a perfect family home, with its owners describing how they purchased it 11 years previously and spent a year on refurbishments before moving in. However, if permission is granted, the property will become the official embassy office in Ireland for the troubled Middle East state.

In December 2014, the Dail agreed a motion officially recognising Palestine and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Ambassador to Ireland Ahmad Abdelrazek was in the public gallery to watch that debate.

The country's Irish office is currently located at Mount Merrion Avenue in Blackrock.

The planning application for its permanent office said only minor works were required to the listed building to make it suitable for its use as an embassy.

According to the application, the work would involve minor internal alterations to unite the basement and ground floor of the building, to include a new timber staircase.

Modifications

It proposed alterations to the existing electrical systems, installation of a smoke detection and fire alarm system, as well as the installation of security cameras and a burglar alarm system.

There would also be fire safety upgrading to staircase doors and also modifications to the rear area to provide for disabled access.

Finally, the application requested permission for the erection of a flagpole, flag and a plaque to the street side.

The property is located just before Leeson Street Bridge. When put on the market, it boasted 2,230sqft of living space as a three-storey over-basement property, dating from the 1850s.

The previous owners said it was in a terrible state when they purchased it.

There were multiple flats and bedsits, and squatters occupied the basement. The house was not derelict, but it was in a state of disrepair and there was plenty of work to be done.

They started with a new roof, and set about repairing and restoring the period features where possible.

Many original features remain - including window shutters, original floorboards, dado rails and fireplaces.

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