UCD’s Commercial Office have sought planning permission from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to make significant changes to the interior of the main Restaurant building, including a new purpose-built shop unit to be located in the building’s ground floor.
The application proposes to modest redevelopment of the lower ground floor interior of the building, allowing for the creation of a new shop unit, a change in the existing series of panels, and the creation of a “new glass and steel enclosure.”
It is understood that the university propose to operate the shop as a merchandising outlet selling UCD-branded clothing and memorabilia. UCD currently sell such goods through the Students’ Union’s shop on the ground floor of the James Joyce Library building.
The planning application, which was submitted to the Council last month, specifies the intended changes to the internal structure of the building, with the development intended to target the north-east side of the building, adjacent to the Newman Building. The most radical change to the existing structure will be the creation of a “new glass and steel enclosure within the existing double height space, having a new floor area of 42 square metres and an overall height of 6.6 metres above lower ground floor level, and with new partitions and display window.” The area affected by the proposed redevelopment has been idle since the closure of the Timeout Café in 2008.
The University Observer understands that the redevelopment will see major visual changes to the ground floor of the building, including a radical renovation and the restructure of a number of internal walls and partitions. A separate planning application has been lodged for the creation of the shop unit, as despite its internal location within the Restaurant building, the opening of such a shop would constitute a change of use, approval of which must be given by the Council.
UCD’s Commercial Manager, Gary Moss, was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.