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Appeal lodged against €100m plan to redevelop St Stephen’s Green shopping centre as Dubliners voice disapproval

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Permission for the redevelopment was granted on December 14 last year after the applicants reduced the scale and massing of the scheme.

However, the proposal faced a backlash from the community, sparking concerns about the potential loss of certain iconic features in the current building.

The ambitious project aims to replace the current glass dome and facade, elements that have graced Dublin’s skyline since 1988, making it one of the city’s most recognisable structures.

Public react to proposed redevelopment of St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre

An artist’s impression of the proposed development shows a complete transformation for the building’s exterior, replacing its dome roof, arched windows and flower baskets.

The new building will have up to 8 floors, including a proposed cinema and gallery space.

In a statement, An Bord Pleanála confirmed the decision to give the redevelopment the green light has now been appealed.

“The development has been appealed within the normal appeal period as is an appellant’s right under law. As the case is ongoing An Bord Pleanála has no further comment to make,” they said.

An online petition was also launched to preserve the current design, while prominent figures, including TV presenter James Kavanagh, voiced their disapproval.

The podcaster and social media star likened the proposed redevelopment to a car park, hospital, or something from Sandyford Industrial Estate, saying it was “not the vibe” for the area’s character.

“I’m not opposed to new buildings at all. However, I do favour old-styles of buildings,” he said.

“Those are the ones that tend to make it on our postcards when we advertise Dublin, and Grafton Street is the essence of our capital, which I feel is slightly fading away.”

The glass dome and facade would be replaced under the proposed redesign

He believes the proposed design has “nothing interesting or beautiful about it”.

“This is our Oxford Street and if I was a tourist, I think the building is one that would make me take out my phone and take a picture. But with the new one, I certainly wouldn’t,” he added.

The Irish Independent took to the streets of Dublin to gauge opinion on the redevelopment plans.

Sean Leahy, a documenter of Dublin’s busking scene, said he favoured maintaining the shopping centre’s current state instead of the new design.

“It looks a little square. If it’s not broken, then why fix it? I think it’s one of the nicest buildings in Dublin, and I thought that when they first built it,” he said.

Brian Hogan, with 42 years of experience working in the Royal College of Surgeons, is opposed the €100m redevelopment and said the existing design is already appreciated for its charm.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: “An appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála which means that the Bord will assess the application now and make a determination. Their decision will supersede Dublin City Councils decision.

“If An Bord Pleanála approve and uphold Dublin City Council’s decision, then the applicant can proceed with a commencement notice assuming all of their pre commencement compliance conditions have been met.

“An Bord Pleanála can also refuse the application which would overturn Dublin City Council’s decision.”

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