June 25, 2018

Appeals Court denies Notre Dame demolition halt

Photo | Grant Welker
A crane has been moved onto the site of Notre Dame church.

The courts have dealt another blow to a group's hopes to save the Notre Dame church in Worcester from the wrecking ball, this time an Appeals Court decision to deny the group's bid to appeal a judge's decision to deny a temporary injunction to halt demolition.

The state Appeals Court denied the Save Notre Dame Alliance's appeal Friday, saying it did not prove Worcester Superior Court judge James Gavin Reardon erred in denying the requested injunction.

The church, built in 1929, has been slated for demolition for months by Hanover Insurance Group-backed CitySquare II, a developer of the $565 million public/private project dubbed City Square.

The alliance argued since public money had been used in the project and the church is a historic site, an environmental review was required prior to demolition.

However, CitySquare II argued a letter from state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton clearing the site of any required review should have made this case null and void.

In a statement, alliance co-leader Ted Conna called the recent rulings a serious blow to the group's efforts.

Conna said the group continues to believe the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act has been violated, and the civil action is still active in Worcester Superior Court, but demolition could still commence in the absence of any court-imposed injunction.

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