RTÉ seek extension to Fair City set planning permission

RTÉ is seeking a five year extension to its planning permission for its Fair City set on the RTÉ campus in Dublin 4.
RTÉ seek extension to Fair City set planning permission

Gordon Deegan

RTÉ is seeking a five year extension to its planning permission for its Fair City set on the RTÉ campus in Dublin 4.

The broadcaster has lodged planning documents with Dublin City Council seeking the extension ahead of its existing planning permission expiring for the set next year.

Planning consultant for RTÉ in the application, John Spain has stated that Fair City “is both the most popular and longest running Irish soap opera”.

He said that Fair City has been running for over 33 years, has won several awards and “the continuation of the previously permitted relocation of the film set and the night time shoots is essential to the ongoing RTÉ operations”.

Previous work

Carrigstown received a major facelift in 2019 after RTÉ relocated the set as a result of selling 8.64 acres of lands at its Donnybrook HQ for €107.5 million to Cairn Homes.

The broadcaster splurged over €2.38 million on the relocated Fair City Lott which comprises of 11 separate sets including ‘McCoy’s pub’, the ‘Hungry Pig’, the ‘Dolphin Pod’, the Community Centre, the ‘Helping Hand’ charity shop and the other locations where the hit soap is shot.

The €2.38 million spend was financed from the €107.5 million received from Cairn Homes.

The Fair City lot took eight months to construct in 2018/19 and An Bord Pleanala gave the plan the go-ahead in 2018 after a number of local residents appealed the city council decision to grant to the appeals board.

The board inspector in the case, Paul Caprani who recommended that planning permission be granted stated that “the new location of the Fair City set will have negligible impact on the residential or visual amenity on the residents living to the north of the site”.

No local complaints

Now, planning consultant for the RTÉ application, John Spain has told the city council that since the set has been located to its current site, the relocation “has not been the subject to any local complaints”.

Mr Spain further states that “the production team have obtained a good relationship with local residents and have ensured all filming is respectful of the surrounding properties”.

He added that “the level of noise and light overspill has been maintained as to ensure there is no impact on the amenity of the surrounding properties”.

Mr Spain states that “As with any filming production, it is the intention that absolute silence is maintained in the surrounding environment in order to clear record the film scene."

He said: “In this regard, the general noise environment, including for night time filming, is kept to a low level with only the acting activity generating low levels of noise.

He added: “In very limited circumstances, the scene may involve a once-off noise generating activity. This however is considered to only take place on occasions and would therefore not impact the general local environment in terms of noise impact.”

Night time filming

The application also seeks to extend the previously permitted night time filming until 10.00pm for two nights per week for a further five years.

Mr Spain states that the impact of the proposed night time filming has been carefully assessed having regard to the noise impact and potential light oversell to the surrounding properties along Nutley Road.

He states that “it can be concluded that there will be no significant impact on the amenity obtained within the residential properties as a result of the continued night-time filming on the set”.

A decision is due on the application in November.

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