I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 96 together.
The national monument at Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street is the subject of a Preservation Order under the National Monuments Acts. The effect of the Preservation Order is that any works affecting the site require my consent, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, under section 14 of the National Monuments Act 1930, as amended.
On 16 July last I made a determination in relation to a consent application and related Environmental Impact Statement submitted by the owners in relation to proposed works on the monument site. I believe that, having carefully considered all the relevant factors, my decision on the consent application is the best way to ensure that work can take place at the national monument to develop an appropriate commemorative centre to the events of Easter week 1916, whilst also ensuing that the monument site is fully protected for future generations. My decision provides for the creation of a 1916 commemorative centre, involving the full repair and conservation of the four buildings. The order which I signed did not approve the demolition of any structures or the removal of any material from the site which date from or before 1916. Nor did it approve works for the provision of an underground car park within the boundary of the national monument site, or the demolition of the Moore Lane facades of Nos. 15 and 16.
The national monument is in private ownership and, accordingly, the advancement of proposals that reflect the terms of the consent I have granted is a matter for the owners. The consent is, however, conditional on a revised project design being submitted to me for approval within 9 months of the decision date that takes full account of the elements of the proposal for which consent has been refused and the conditions attached to the approved works. A further condition requires substantive works to commence on site within 3 months of the approval of the revised proposals. In that regard, I met recently with the owners of the national monument who informed me that they were currently examining proposals for the site which would fit within the confines of my decision, particularly with regard to the retention of all pre-1916 features of the national monument.
In terms of the planning requirements which would apply to any further proposal for the site, a planning authority is required under the Planning Acts to notify me as Minister of any application for planning permission where it appears to the authority that the development might affect or be unduly close to a national monument. The consent processes under the Planning and Development Acts and the National Monuments Acts operate independently of each other.