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November 18, 2007

U2 finally get go-ahead for €150m hotel plan

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U2 have finally found what they’re looking for — planning permission for a €150m revamp of the Clarence Hotel. The rock supergroup have been given the green light by Dublin City Council to go ahead with controversial plans to turn the landmark property in Temple Bar into what Bono claims will be “the most spectacular hotel in Europe”. His friend, former US President Bill Clinton, stayed at the hotel last night. But conservationists and environmentalists have expressed outrage at the decision to allow Bono and The Edge to demolish four neighbouring listed buildings and erect a spaceship-style atrium on top. Under planning law, council’s should only give permission to demolish listed buildings “in exceptional circumstances”. Michael Smith, environmentalist and former head of An Taisce, the national heritage trust, has blasted the council’s decision as “illegal” and accused U2 of “the biggest demolition of protected structures in Ireland in years”. Even the council’s own City Conservation Architect, Clare Hogan, advised a refusal.

The Sunday Independent

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