Conservation IGS submission on proposed Metrolink for Dublin

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An Bord Pleanála

64 Marlborough Street

Dublin 1

D01 V902

4th January 2022

Re. Railway (Metrolink–Estuary to Charlemont via Dublin Airport) Order 2022

Dear Sir or Madam,

The Irish Georgian Society previously made a submission on the ‘Metrolink Public Consultation 2019 – Preferred Route’ and welcomes this opportunity to comment on the ‘Metrolink Railway Order Process 2022’.

It is evident that significant sections of the proposed Metrolink will run beneath some of Dublin’s most architecturally significant and sensitive areas and that this is rightly a cause for concern. The Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) has dealt in detail with issues arising from this and has considered mitigation measures to address these. Given the scale of the project, the Irish Georgian Society (IGS) is not in a position to comment on these individually but does wish to make the following points:

  1. Accreditation of professional advisers
  2. While it is noted that a Project Conservation Architect is to be appointed, it is not indicated whether this individual/firm will be required to have a suitable conservation accreditation. As such, the IGS strongly recommends that the appointee is a RIAI accredited Grade 1 Conservation Architect and that a conservation engineer with appropriate accreditation is also engaged in the project.
  3. Condition surveys
  4. As the project is so extensive, it will be essential that sufficient resources are provided to the Project Conservation Architect to ensure that they have ongoing access to an adequate number of sufficiently experienced and accredited conservation professionals.
  5. Permanent removal of elements of architectural interest
  6. The IGS has considerable concerns about the planned permanent removal of parts of structures of architectural interest as these will forever lose their originally intended context. In such cases, the Society is of the view that a long-term plan for such items should be put in place and agreed with the Dublin City Council Conservation Office prior to the commencement of works.
  7. Temporary removal of elements of architectural interest

It is noted that in a number of instances it is proposed to temporarily remove features of architectural interest and to reinstate these at a later stage. The IGS has concerns about such proposals as past experience suggests that the reinstatement of such items does not always go ahead. As such, it is recommended that as part of the planning process, a clear agreement for the removal, storage and reinstatement of relevant features is put in place with Dublin City Council Conservation Office.

The proposed Metrolink project will have a significant and lasting impact on Dublin’s built heritage and so it will be essential that the correct conservation advisors and policies are adopted and engaged for its duration. As such, the Irish Georgian Society expects every consideration to be given to the observations it has made and would welcome an opportunity to provide further input if required.

Yours sincerely,

Donough Cahill

Executive Director Irish Georgian Society