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Designating an Architectural Conservation Area for North Great George’s Street.

Next Monday evening, Dublin City Councillors will determine whether to amend the City Development Plan to allow for the designation of an Architectural Conservation Area for North Great George’s Street and environs.

The purpose of an ACA is to protect and enhance the special character of the ACA by:
– Ensuring that all new development is carried out in a manner sympathetic to the special character of the area,
– Encouraging the reinstatement and enhancement of existing structures in a manner sympathetic to the special character of the area.

The Chief Executive has recommended to Councillors that the proposed designation as an Architectural Conservation Area of North Great George’s Street & Environs be adopted in order to protect the special historic and architectural character and also support compact sustainable growth of this historic city centre area. Two additional elements of text are proposed to be added as an amendment to the ACA document to clarify the existing proposed policy framework.

The Report of the Chief Executive argues that the area has a significant and varied stock of late eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century structures, although it is primarily defined by late eighteenth century buildings laid out in a terraced streetscape, which remains the focal point of the area to the present day. North Great George’s Street is one of the significant historic streets of Dublin city, it was laid out for residential use in the mid-18th Century, with the majority of the houses built in the 1770’s and 1780’s. It was constructed on the basis of a modular plan, adapted to residential plot multiples, allowing developers to enter into leases for the purchase of plots. Belvedere House, on Denmark Street Great was completed in 1786, terminating the vista to the north end of the Street.


The area has a mix of commercial and residential structures that reflects the different building styles of the mid-late eighteenth century, the nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as more recent periods. The buildings of North Great George’s Street and its environs are laid out mainly in long and short terrace form, although there are two and three storey structures in the area, most of the principal commercial and residential structures are four storeys in height, with some having an additional roof level. These principal buildings are mainly finished externally in red and/or brown brick, though there are some rendered facades.


Many original materials and details survive, including pitched roofs with natural slates and ridge detailing, timber sash and some casement windows, ironwork including railings, gates, boot-scrapers etc. Most of the commercial frontages within the ACA are twentieth century, although a number of important nineteenth century frontages remain. The area consists of a rich urban mix of residential, commercial, institutional and retail uses as part of a vibrant inner city neighbourhood.


The ACA, as proposed, also includes the former mews plots and other lands associated with and/or located to the rear of North Great George’s Street, which are situated on the east side of Rutland Place and on the west side of Hill Street. These plots and parcels of lands and buildings, including modern apartment developments, have an historical association and/or such significant and proximate inter-relationships with the principal buildings of North Great George’s Street, Great Denmark Street, Gardiner Place and Parnell Street, that justifies their inclusion within the boundary of the ACA, in the interest of the protection of the special
character of the area and its proper planning and sustainable development.

The proposed designated area of the ACA is configured so that it connects
with the already designated O’Connell Street ACA (2001), which already includes the historic streetscape on the southwest corner of North Great George’s Street and the adjoining terraces on Parnell Street’s north side. Similarly, the proposed ACA also extends to the north and east along Gardiner Place, as far as Nerney’s Court, to connect with the Mountjoy Square ACA (adopted in 2012), and incorporates the adjacent part of Hill Street and the lower part of Temple Street (east and west sides).

I will be voting in favour of amending the existing City Development Plan to ensure the North Great George’s Street & environs Architectural Conservation Area is adopted and implemented by Dublin City Council.

raymcadam View All

Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee

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