Conservation Distillery Yard, Tullamore, Co. Offaly

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Photomontage of proposed 13-storey block (Model Works)
Photomontage of proposed 13-storey block (Model Works)

Planning Department

Offaly County Council

Áras an Chontae

Charleville Rd



Co. Offaly

12th March 2024

Re. Proposed LRD at D.E. William's House (Protected Structure) Patrick Street, De Bruns Patrick Street, Nos. 1-4 De Bruns Patrick Street, Nos. 1-6 The Corn Loft Patrick Street and Car Park/Quinnsworth Kilbride Street, Tullamore, Co. Offaly

Planning Application Ref: 2460038

Dear Sir/Madam,

This planning application is for a mixed-use development (residential, commercial- café/restaurant/retail and childcare facility) comprising 6 Blocks ranging in height from 2 to 13 storeys. The Irish Georgian Society wishes to object to this development for the reasons set out below.

Tullamore emerged as a prosperous town during the 18th century with development spurred on by the arrival of the Royal Canal in 1798-1804. Its town plan follows a regular grid pattern with O’Connor Square and Market Square providing significant civic spaces, and the harbour area being of significant industrial heritage interest. The town retains its historic street pattern with most buildings standing two to three storeys in height while the tower and spire of the Church of the Assumption comprises the most significant structure on the skyline.

The Irish Georgian Society is of the view that the proposal to construct a 13-storey building within this historic built environment would have a significant adverse impact on its urban character and scale. Attention is drawn in particular to the views shown in the following Verified Photomontages submitted as part of the planning application:

  • VPV 06: taken from one of the principal entry points to the town, this view demonstrates how its low-rise scale will be very significantly altered by the proposed new development.
  • VPV 07: the dramatic impact of the proposed new tower is most evident in this photomontage which illustrates the view along the 18th century Harbour Street.
  • VPV 09: this photomontage illustrates the incongruous impact of the proposed development on views from within Market Square.
  • VPV 10: seen from a distance, this view shows how the proposed 13-storey building would compete with the tower and spire of the Church of the Assumption when the town is approached from the east.

In considering the impact this proposed development would have on the historic character and scale of Tullamore, the Irish Georgian Society urges that consideration be given to the following provisions of the Offaly County Development Plan 2021-2027:

  • Policy BHP-01: ensure the protection, sympathetic and sensitive modification, alteration, extension or reuse of protected structures or parts of protected structures, and the immediate surrounds included and proposed for inclusion in the Record of Protected Structures that are of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest, together with the integrity of their character and setting.
  • Policy BHP-02: ensure the protection of the curtilage of protected structures or proposed protected structures and to prohibit inappropriate development within the curtilage or attendant grounds of a protected structure which would adversely impact on the special character of the protected structure including cause loss of or damage to the special character of the protected structure and loss of or damage to, any structures of architectural heritage value within the curtilage of the protected structure.
  • Section 7.2.4 (Opportunity Sites – Built and Cultural Heritage): All new development proximate to protected structures shall be sensitively designed to respect the form of the protected structures.
  • Section 10.3.1 (Alterations/Extensions of Protected Structures): ensure that alterations or extensions to protected structures shall only be permitted if the proposals are in keeping with the character of the structure and preserve the architectural and historic features of the structure.
  • DMS-10 (Urban Infill and Brownfield Development): New infill development shall respect the height and massing of existing residential units. Infill development shall retain the physical character of the area.

The Irish Georgian Society is of the view that the proposed construction of a 13-storey building in Tullamore would be entirely inconsistent with its historic urban character, would comprise views from within the town, and would not comply with the heritage related policies and objectives of the Offaly County Development Plan 2021-2027. For these reasons, we urge that planning permission be refused.

Yours sincerely,

Donough Cahill
Executive Director IGS