Chinese Gospel Church receive permission for Lucan retreat house

By Maurice Garvey

THE Chinese Gospel Church of Dublin have received planning permission from South Dublin County Council to extend the duration of a previous planning permission, which allows them to use Esker House as a place of worship.

Plans for Esker House – a protected structure – were initially granted permission by the council in 2011, and the church are seeking another five years to carry out works permitted at the time.

Esker House 01

The Chinese Gospel Church of Dublin is an inter-denominational and mission orientation.

Sunday services are held at Esker House, and in Abbey Street in the city centre.

Submitted on April 14, the plans include proposals for a single storey retreat house with ancillary accommodation located in the annex.

Works to Esker House comprise essential repairs including woodworm, wet rot and damp treatment, refurbished roof timbers, valley gutters, rainwater goods, staircase, new heating and electrical services.

It also includes the introduction of a new partition and door-set to provide a minor hall and pastoral office within the old study and complete redecoration of internal rooms.

Plans also include the demolition of an existing 1970s double height barn, construction of a new community building with a main auditorium, and single storey secondary hall with canteen, halls, toilets and ancillary accommodation with a floor area of over 1,000 sq.m.

The demolition of the 1970s derelict Gate Lodge is included, with a replacement of a living quarters for use by caretakers.
The applicants sought to provide 55 additional car parking spaces, associated site and road works, along with a free standing sign inside a proposed new boundary wall at Esker Road.

An architectural submission on behalf of the church, states most of the work is complete and operational at this stage.

However, due to the recession, funds have fallen short and the conversion of stables to classrooms, and conversion of Esker House to a retreat house have yet to be competed – hence the need for an extension.

The applicants have registered charity status, which makes them exempt from planning fees.

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