herald

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Development on old Rocky Horror site given go-ahead

The Classic cinema in Harold’s Cross closed down in 2003
The Classic cinema in Harold’s Cross closed down in 2003

Plans to develop shops, offices and apartments on the site of the former Classic cinema in Harold's Cross have been given the green light, despite opposition from local residents.

Dublin City Council has granted planning permission to the construction firm Garvagh Homes for the mixed-used development of the site on the Harold's Cross Road.

The decision includes approval for the development of three blocks including a total of 91 apartments.

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.

Opposed

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

The village council claimed that the apartment blocks, which will be up to five storeys in height and almost 18 metres tall, represented overdevelopment of the site. It expressed particular concern about the impact on residents of Wilfrid Road and Kenilworth Park in Harold's Cross.

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

The lack of such facilities would not help its work "to further build a vibrant and vital community", it added.

Council planners ruled that the overall visual impact of the proposed buildings would be "satisfactory" and would not be significantly overbearing on surrounding properties.

Cult

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

The musical was the final movie shown in the Classic when it closed down in 2003 after first opening its doors in 1953, when it was known as the Kenilworth.

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

Opponents have a deadline of October 21 to lodge an appeal against the development with An Bord Pleanala.

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