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Curtain comes down on Classic cinema as flats plan is approved

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Former Classic cinema

Former Classic cinema

Former Classic cinema

An Bord Pleanala has cleared the way for the demolition of one of Dublin's most famous cinemas, The Classic in Harold's Cross, to allow for a large mixed-used development.

The board rejected an app-eal by a number of parties, including a local community group, against the plans by building firm Garvagh Homes to develop shops, offices and 91 apartments on the former cinema site on the Harold's Cross Road.

Subject to a number of plann-ing conditions, the board said the development would not seri- ously injure the visual amenities of the area or affect the adjoining properties.

It said the project was also acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience.

The ruling will mark the end one of the capital's best-loved suburban cinemas, which closed its doors in 2003 after 50 years in business.

The Classic was famous for its regular Friday night screening of cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show for over 20 years, with many cinema-goers dressing up, singing and dancing throughout the film.

It was the last movie shown in the Classic before it was shut 17 years ago.

Planning permission for another proposed development of a smaller apartment complex on the site was refused in 2005.

The owner of Garvagh Homes - Northern Ireland developer Padraig Drayne - paid more than €8m for the former cinema site, which had a guide price of €6m when it was placed on the market in October 2018.

The plans were opposed by the Harold's Cross Village Community Council, which represents a number of residents' associations in the area.

The council claimed the apartment blocks, which will be up to five storeys in height and nearly 18 metres tall, represented over-development of the site.

Concerns

It pointed out that a similar development on the Harold's Cross Road was only granted planning permission after the council imposed a condition that a fifth-floor level be omitted due to concerns about the height of the building.

The community council said that decision had set a precedent.

The village council also said more than a third of the development consisted of studios and one-bed apartments, with no family homes in terms of three-bed apartments planned in the scheme.