Dublin City Council row erupts over Clerys redevelopment

Public lands were included in a planning application and councillors aren't happy...

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A row has broken out between some elected members of Dublin City Council and the council’s planning department over the latter’s perceived facilitation of an aspect of the redevelopment of Clerys department store.

Late last month, the council’s planning department gave its consent to OCS Properties – the controversial owner of Clerys – to include the public road and footpath at Earl Place and Sackville Place in their planning application to develop new high-end retail and office space and a hotel in the building.

Planning files published by the council show that part of the new development project includes ventures called “Boutique Food and Boutique Inspiration” on Earl Place and Sackville Place.

The move has been criticised as an act of "bad faith" by Dermot Lacey, the Labour Party leader on the city council.

He has argued that councillors should have been informed, particularly as so many of them had expressed outrage at the treatment of Clerys workers when the store was closed without warning last summer and the State was forced to support employees with statutory redundancy payments

The council has responded that the planning letter was standard and that it did not intend to sell the space involved to OCS.

It said:

"The intention of the planning application is to facilitate an upgrade in the quality of the public realm in question."

Last week it was revealed that building restoration specialists Lambstongue is refusing to work on the redevelopment of Clerys if it will not meet with 460 workers whose jobs were lost when the department store closed.