Green light given for hotel on Viking site
27 May 2009
An Bord Pleanala has given the green light for a seven storey hotel on what could be an important Viking site near St Stephen's Green in Dublin city centre.
The venture at 19-22 Aungier St, Dublin 2, has been proposed by Fanagan's funeral directors and hotelier Robert Lyne. The original blueprint was for a 26m high, nine storey building, but the appeals board has sliced two storeys off the original design proposal.
Dublin City Council gave permission to demolish warehouses on the site, currently used for parking cars, and to build a 232-bed hotel. However, a report on the planning application stated the site "is one of major archaeological potential".
"The area is one of known archeological potential for Viking Age and medieval deposits relating to the early settlement at Dubh Linn," wrote consultant archaeologist Mary McMahon.
The archeological expert recommended that no construction work ought to be undertaken until an archeological assessment is carried out. The council imposed several conditions in compliance with Ms McMahon's recommendations. Its decision to grant planning approval was, however, appealed to the planning appeals board by an owner of an adjoining premises.
The approval from An Bord Pleanala stipulates that "the developer shall facilitate the planning authority in preserving, recording or otherwise protecting archeological materials or features within the site".
The developer is thus required to notify the planning authority in writing at least four weeks prior to the commencement of any site operation relating to the proposed development.
A suitably-qualified archaeologist who shall monitor all site investigations and other excavation works must be employed and satisfactory arrangements for the recording/removal of any archeological material must be made. An Bord Pleanala's decision is currently being considered by the promoters before deciding what the next move will be.