Johnny Ronan’s 17-storey Dublin Docklands plan refused permission

Planners felt the proposed development would set an ‘undesirable precedent’ and devalue nearby property

Developer Johnny Ronan’s planned 17-storey mixed use scheme for Dublin’s Docklands has been rejected by planners.

In February, Mr Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) lodged plans for the redevelopment of global banking giant Citigroup’s current European headquarters at 1 North Wall Quay in the docklands.

The scheme involves the demolition of Citigroup’s existing six-storey office building and the development of four buildings in its place ranging in heights of nine to 17 storeys.

RGRE firm, NWQ Devco Limited was seeking a 10-year planning permission but Dublin City Council has refused permission across a number of grounds.

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A spokesman for RGRE said the group would appeal the refusal to An Bord Pleanála and that it was disappointed by the decision.

“There is a strong view in Irish planning and construction communities, and among the wider public, that there has been a missed opportunity over the past decade for increased heights and densities along Dublin’s north and south docklands where the river Liffey is at its widest point and good transport infrastructure is in place,” he said.

“With the pipeline of brownfield sites in the docklands now almost exhausted, few opportunities remain for the construction of taller, more sustainable buildings in a location that is clearly appropriate.”

The council ruled that the proposed development, due to its height and excessive bulk and scale, “would constitute an insensitive form of development adjacent to existing residential development”.

The planning authority stated that the proposal would result “in a significant and unacceptable loss of daylight/sunlight and resultant overshadowing to these properties and amenity areas, adversely impacting their residential amenity”.

The council stated that the proposed development “would therefore set an undesirable precedent and would devalue properties in the vicinity”.

The planning authority also ruled that the proposed development “would constitute an overly dominant form causing serious injury to the visual amenities” of the Liffey Quays, a conservation area.

It concluded that the proposed development contravenes various policies of the Dublin city Development Plan, adversely affecting key views and vistas along the river corridor and the amenities of properties in the vicinity.

In the third reason for refusal, the council stated that having regard to the condition of the existing building and in the absence of a comprehensive justification for demolition where not all options were investigated, “the proposed wholesale demolition would be considered premature”.

The planned demolition was deemed contrary to the Dublin city Development Plan which seeks to promote and support the retrofitting and reuse of existing buildings rather than their demolition and reconstruction.

The council said the proposed development “would set an undesirable precedent for wholesale demolition on similar sites across the city and would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

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