herald

Thursday 13 December 2018

ESB urged to put life back into city street

THE ESB's redevelopment plan for its HQ must breathe new life into Fitzwilliam Street, An Taisce has said.

With "hardly a lit window" at night in the area, the semi-state company must prioritise the repopulation of the Dublin 2 area, the heritage body insisted.

A crucial vote on the project is to take place next month when Dublin city councillors decide whether the ESB should restore a Georgian façade torn down half a century ago.

A large number of townhouses were demolished in 1965 to facilitate the construction of the headquarters on Fitzwilliam Street Lower, breaking the city's Georgian Mile in the process.

DESIGN

"At night, there is hardly a lit window along Fitzwilliam Street and the ESB's ultimate planning application must redress this. Dublin's South Georgian quarter needs to have life breathed back into and the ESB project is vital in kick-starting that process," An Taisce's policy director James Nix said.

"Life on Fitzwilliam Street after 6pm is sorely missing. Georgian Dublin needs that vibrancy back – and the ESB has its part to play."

The ESB has argued it needs the majority of the space for office use, leaving little room for new homes.

But Mr Nix believes "this does not need to be the case". The current City Development Plan has as one of its objectives the reinstatement of the façades.

But senior Dublin city officials have supported the removal of this obligation in favour of an objective to promote a building of "exceptional urban design".

COMURPHY@HERALD.IE

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