Dublin height focus of planning debate

Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:10 am

The Irish Times - Monday, July 26, 2010

Dublin height focus of planning debate

Decisions made this week by Dublin city councillors will determine the height and scale of future developments, writes FRANK MACDONALD

WHETHER NEW buildings in Dublin should be relatively high or low has become the most contentious issue confronting councillors as they begin a series of special meetings today to deal with the draft Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017.

On the one hand, An Taisce maintains the current draft prepared by city planners “will fuel a future splurge of land speculation and undermine decades of the planning control that has maintained Dublin as a historic low-rise major European city”.

On the other, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has warned that attempts by councillors to cap building heights “would result in the relocation of office and other commercial development outside Dublin . . . and act as a serious deterrent to urban regeneration”.

At issue is what constitutes a “high-rise” building. According to the planners, it would be 16 storeys or more, with “medium-rise” defined as eight to 16 storeys and “low-rise” as up to eight storeys – roughly double the prevailing building height in the core of the city.

Several councillors are seeking to reinstate a key paragraph in the current city plan that is omitted from the draft.

This states that the council “acknowledges the intrinsic quality of Dublin as a low- to medium-rise city and considers that it should predominantly remain so.

“Taller building clusters . . . are only likely to be achieved in the Docklands, at Heuston and in the larger predominantly non-residential key developing areas, where there is good public transport links and sites of sufficient size to create their own character.”

According to the planners, continuing with this policy “would seriously undermine the strategic approach to developing areas” such as Grangegorman and the zones around Connolly Station and Tara Street station, where further high-rise development is envisaged.

The planners say they have “no objection” to a more specific definition of low-rise “provided it does not result in a policy cap of 18m (six-storey residential or four-storey office) over the city, as several of the amendments tabled by councillors are now seeking to do.

“The essential proposition in these motions is that . . . the definition of high should be reduced from 50m to 30m with mid-rise defined as 18m to 30m; and all the remaining areas of the city to be retained at a maximum height of 18m”, the manager’s report says.

This “would have severe repercussions for the city in relation to economic renewal and competitiveness”, it warns, adding that the “inevitable result would be a flight of office development” to surrounding local authority areas and “less rates income”.

The planners also maintain that a 30m-cap on medium-rise buildings would “inevitably result in bulky ‘groundscapers’ rather than more elegant buildings such as Liberty Hall” (now planned to be demolished), saying this would “undermine the character of the city”. They say a six-storey cap on residential development would also “undermine the promotion of vibrant new, mixed-use neighbourhoods”, such as Herberton (built on the site of Fatima Mansions), where the height ranges from three to eight storeys.

An amendment by some councillors seeking an “urban design statement” on all proposals two storeys higher than existing buildings in the vicinity is “considered unduly onerous” by the planners, given the “numerous safeguards” incorporated in the draft plan.

Their drive for more height and density in the city is strongly endorsed by the CIF.

Its director of planning, Hubert Fitzpatrick, said if proposed caps were imposed in certain areas, “investment . . . will go elsewhere, representing a significant opportunity cost for the entire economy”.

Limits on the height of apartment buildings would “push developments away from areas that have seen substantial investment in public transportation and related physical and social infrastructure”, resulting in “further urban sprawl and continued underdevelopment”.

But An Taisce’s heritage officer, Ian Lumley, said it was clear that the city council’s management was “pushing through” a new Draft Development Plan for adoption by elected councillors, intended to fuel a future property boom by “scrapping” existing controls on height.

“Amid the general fiasco that has characterised Irish planning over the last 60 years, there was at least one achievement of maintaining Dublin as one of Europe’s low-rise major historic cities”, he said.

For whatever reason, this was to be “disregarded” by the draft plan.

“Rather that providing clarity, the plan is going to create years of planning rows and appeals to An Bord Pleanála if a new boom is generated,” he said.

“It would only take a few badly sited out-of-scale buildings to irrevocably damage the city’s irreplaceable character.”
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:38 pm

A pretty polarised debate on the surface; what frustrates me in all 'high rise' discussions is the attempt to agree broad themes in plans and the stance by some people on one side that high rise is the only solution to urban sprawl or the only pull factor for office space. What Paris has acheived is to me the perfect balance; a high density low rise urban core with selected areas for High Rise in areas such as La Defence; London similarly has clustered virtually all of its tall buildings in recent years into two clusters one East of St Pauls and Canary Wharf; the idea of even medium rise in the West End is pretty much a non-runner as it would be in Central Paris.

What has been most damaging to the character of theCity over the past decade have been bulky buildings such as the red sandstone building on Capel St or the brick block on the former cinema on Eden Quay; bland bulky eyesores. The issue here however is that massing has not been controlled as opposed to tall buildings such as Montevetro which is far enough away from the urban core as not to damage important views and prospects.

If the areas East of Spencer Dock and West of the Royal Hospital was declared a free for all in terms of height I doubt that any of the stakeholders would be remotely concerned if a developer managed to complete a building to 200m in height. What is critical is the investment in new office space has the toys and is in areas that are proximate to mass transit.

The last thing anyone wants see are low rise buildings i.e. 8 commercial storeys poking their plant rooms over a Georgian Square; conversely we don't wish to see the U2 Tower if it resurfaces or Watchtower ruled off site because all tall proposals are off limits.

Clear and considered evaluation of the plan by the elected councillors is an absolute pre-requisite to a plan that moves the City forward; a good first step is to agree where is suitable for taller buildings as opposed to creating the same ambiguity that has bedeviled recent plans i.e. regurgitating national policy docments and a height study that is now 10-11 years old.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby publicrealm » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:35 pm

PVC King wrote:A pretty polarised debate on the surface;

the same ambiguity that has bedeviled recent plans i.e. regurgitating national policy docments and a height study that is now 10-11 years old.


I tend to agree with the ambiguity argument.

DEGW was a bit of a joke with its minuscule diagrams showing suitable locations for high buildings and its 1 km circles from transportation hubs. But the current draft plan claims to be 'updating' (and, it appears to suggest,clarifying) DEGW - does that mean 'replacing' or 'adding to'?

If 'adding to' then I can understand the concerns of the conservation lobby.

Why such ambiguity?
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:32 am

It is exactly that ambiguity that has led to recent controversy in the Dublin City Council's reversal/neutering record in major planning cases. What could be done is to leave the area east of Spencer Dock / Macken Street (South of Pearse Street) as a clearly designated area suitable for consideration of buildings of any height.

Given the supply of Grade 1 of offices available in the City that will give them at least 3-4 years to have the issue addressed by a new height needs study that looks at the entire area between the canals and along existing rail/tram lines; but not as you say with draw a line around a mug approach but instead by drawing up shortlists of specific holdings that appear to be underused relative to their surrounding density and could be developed in a manner that unlocks latent development potential in a manner which is compatible with the existing urban grain of neighbouring streets.

The object of the development plan has to be that developers and their advisors know what it means and that the proposed level of development for any major site has the support of stakeholders such as politicians, conservationists and residents. Concentrating High rise where the numbers of the three aforementioned groups are limited has tended to work in locations that provide International best practice.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:50 pm

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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby onq » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:13 pm

Ealier this year I went on an AAI site visit to Libeskind's theatre on Grand Canal Square.

The sister building was ihabited by suit of solicitors offices, a whole gaggle of them having moved into the area recently.

None of the buildings seemed unduly high or bulky.

Given the 4-6 storey height of Dublin the planners Breakdown intermediates set at 8 and sixteen stories are simply wrong and.

Putting more people up in the air in a city with a barely capable pulic transport system is not the answer.

A few years ago Dorothy Steart ran a series of workshops in Keven Street address the idea of Smart Growth, an idea that took root in America involving Brownfield redevelopment projects.

You could look on it unkindly as self-help regeneration, but the lessons learnt in terms of consultation and integrations with stakeholders have worked good things.

Many of the sites involved in the Corpo's redevelopment will intensify specific uses in the city, to the detriment of the environment in it.

As usual the corporation are big on the "bits" and less so on the spaces between the "bits" or the services and transport links that allow the "bits" function.

This kind of isolated, plot-driven approach to cityscapes is well past its sell by and cannot be continued.

So its a bit of a surpise to see Planning Officer Michael Renold's Height Ruler being dusted off from his heydays in the Nineties and applied to the 2011 era, when Gormley and the DOEHLG are touting links with architects in order the deliver a better environment.

For all his aspirational waffle and links with the RIAI,itt seems that Minister Gormley has no real clue about the environment, he is merely a shrewd career politician who knows their's votes in land, water and cities and their associated problems - hardly genius level.

We need a city planner with vision, as as other have pointed out in other cities, we need zones where hi-rise development can cluster, not isolated towers sprining up all over the place in an incompetenly conceived [or not conceived at all] haphazard fashion,s subject to the will only of chance and the marketplace as opposed to someone with a handle on Urban Design.

Its like the great work of the Berlin archtiectural renewal in the lat eeighties and early nineites has been totally forogtten about, and the seminal review of how sociey and memory shapes buildings done by Krier et al is consigned to history [well, that's what I took from his stuff].

FWIW

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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby gunter » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:19 pm

onq wrote:. . . . we need zones where hi-rise development can cluster, not isolated towers springing up all over the place in a . . . . haphazard fashion, subject to the will only of chance and the marketplace as opposed to someone with a handle on Urban Design.

ONQ.


Ok, but ''where hi-rise development can cluster'' is still a negative, it's still about limiting high-rise to where it can do the city little harm, there is an argument that we should be attempting to actively intervene in the 'design' of the city by deciding in what locations high-rise elements could be introduced to make a positive contribution.

I agree that the character of Dublin is low-rise. I also agree that it would be sensible, in the interests of creating an urban core with a viable density, that the existing [4 - 5] storey count which is an18th century legacy should be raised to a modest norm of six - seven storeys, where new streetscape opportunites occur, but I don't believe that we necessarily protect the city by seeking to effectively ban all high-rise development, or consign it to the margins.

As I see it, the problem is that it will not be enough just to have a policy on high-rise and a map with areas of potential high-rise circled with a marker, the concept of introducing high-rise into the city-scape must be inextricably linked to the quality of the design of the high-rise and the care taken with locating the high-rise, in other words, the city must determine the scale, form and location of future high-rise development, not circle the map and hope for the best that they'll be able to control the quality of what comes in by tagging on planning conditions.

My personal belief is that Dublin is a city sitting on enormous potential. We've been through all of this before: we have a coastal setting that other capital cities would kill for, we have a defining riverscape that makes the city center instantly legible and, despite our best efforts to destroy the place, we still have a built environment and layers of heritage that you simply couldn't make up.

What we don't have is a viable urban density, or an impressive urban scale, or a high quality public realm. It is not true that high-rise development is necessary to fix this, but it is true that the only thing that can fix it is development. Now all we have to do is envisage the form, scale and location of the development that will transform Dublin into the great city it has the potential to be and it would be sensible to have high-rise as one of the tools at our disposal.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:31 pm

There are positives and negatives to having so much heritage; the positive provides a nice atmosphere; the negative is that it limits development potential. The point I wish to reiterate is that certain parts of the City can take higher densities and certain parts can't for example take Cumberland House on Fenian Street it is quite tall given its proximity to Merrion Square at 8 stories but covers less than 50% of the site.

The manner in which ARA developed the former IBM site on Burlington Rd for Bennett Construction is a masterclass in how to hide a vast quantum of Grade 1 office space in a very sensitive location and yet the building has sufficient profile to act a headquarters building. Through the use of lightwells, set backs and Atria it is very simple to increase densities significantly without breaking the grain at street level.

A proper height study based on a physical survey where the city is systematically walked block by block to assess impacts of various alterations to the street grain would be the very minimum you would expect to see before any changes are made in this policy area.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby tommyt » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:52 am

I hope them heritage whingers are happy that they've bankrupted Arnotts, maybe Hector Grey can put a rescue package together:rolleyes:
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby tommyt » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:27 am

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0728/1224275614559.html

Developers to face high-rise curbs as council agrees plan

DEVELOPERS ARE facing severe restrictions on the construction of high-rise buildings in Dublin city following the introduction of the new Dublin City Development Plan next year.

City councillors last night agreed to ban the construction of buildings above 28m (92ft) – about half the height of Liberty Hall – unless a statutory plan called a Local Area Plan (Lap) was drafted for the area in question. Such a plan could take several years to develop.

This would block the construction of any further high-rise or even medium-rise buildings in areas previously earmarked by the council for tall buildings such as the Docklands, Heuston and Connolly stations and George’s Quay.

The Lap, which functions as a development plan specific to a particular area, would have to specify maximum building heights allowed. Until a local area plan was approved all developments would have to remain low rise. Councillors last night agreed to define low rise as up to six storeys in relation to residential buildings and seven storeys for office buildings or a maximum height of less than 28m.

The development of Laps has been a fraught process within the council. Attempts were made over several years to introduce a LAP for Ballsbridge but the plan fell apart when agreement could not be reached on whether to allow a “landmark” tall building.

The amendment to the draft development plan in relation to the development of Laps was agreed last night as a compromise motion. Several councillors had wanted caps on height, and some motions would have seen high rise defined as under 30m.

However the agreed amendment, by effectively deferring any decision on maximum heights, makes the city development plan worthless as a guide to developers as to where applications for tall building would be considered.

The draft plan will be released for a further round of consultation before being formally agreed by councillors later this year.

City manager John Tierney in his report to councillors on the plan had warned putting restrictive caps on heights would have “severe repercussions for the city’s competitiveness”.[/I]
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby thebig C » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:01 pm

Well, well, well,

Just reading through the thread now, I will have to think of a reasoned response but here are my first impressions.

Looking at the other posts, there is largely the type of balance that should be the hallmark of this debate. Mosts posters, myself included, would like to see the historic core protected whilst at the same time allowing sustainable high rise development in suitable areas. Naturally, the official debate lacks this kind of reasoning.

I could be wrong, however, I would be fairly confident that the LAPS will never be published, and, the height cap will become de facto right accross the City. The LAPS are really just a fig-leaf to given an appearance of balance and consideration. In reality, if they are even commissioned in future (doubtful) , in every area there will be a slew of anti-highrise objections from local residents and from the usual suspects such as An Taisce. That in itself will prevent any changes.

Undoubtly, some of the objections will be very correct and genuine. Sadly, many will be nothing but nimbyism. Almost uniquely in Europe, serial objection on almost idealogical grounds is deemed as being progressive, positive and enlightened, in Ireland. Those on the anti-skyscraper side of the debate, now have an ultimate trump card, the fact that corrupt property speculators have almost destroyed the country. That fact will stifle any debate, and, was probably instrumental in this resolution being passed by the Council. People, just do not want to be seen to be in favour of anything which remotely pro-developer. Furthermore, certain public representitives have built careers out of seeming forward thinking and uncorrupt because they are anti development , and conversly, any representitives who favour development must be corrupt! All of this political manouvering plays into the hands of a uniquely ignorant public perception of the built environment. In this case an ignorance, illustrated most appropriately by the fact that many still think skyscrapers equal Ballymun!

In short, this could actually lead to a return of the semi-D! Most would agree that one of the few benefits of the bubble was the development of a proper urban infrastructre of continental style. That will be a thing of the past once the reaction comes. Many, in the anti development lobby, will seek to combat aspects of the boom by doing the opposite. If you think I am crazy, cast your minds back to the 1980s, partly as a result of empty coffers but also because of a reaction to the speculation of the 1960s/70s, DCC dispenced with any architecture that had any urban form or scale, and instead built rural and suburban one and two storey houses on City streets! History will repeat itself!

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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby Smithfield Resi » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:01 pm

I hope them heritage whingers are happy that they've bankrupted Arnotts


Pretty sure they didn't spend €230m on planning consultants...

Keep refusing to look at anyone other than the banker/developer/FF cartel eh? Wanna buy some Anglo shares?...

I see low rise is now defined as seven storeys for office buildings. Big leap from Chicago to Dublin methinks...
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:40 pm

thebig C wrote: I could be wrong, however, I would be fairly confident that the LAPS will never be published, and, the height cap will become de facto right accross the City. The LAPS are really just a fig-leaf to given an appearance of balance and consideration. In reality, if they are even commissioned in future (doubtful) , in every area there will be a slew of anti-highrise objections from local residents


You have hit the nail on the head; insert the word local and forget the expression high rise; there are a number of brownfield areas in the city where there are no locals; examples include Heuston, Docklands, West of Inchicore; all of these areas are on rail lines. I think people always want high rise; they just don't want it beside where they live, some examples where it it has been successfully developed into meaningful clusters are Connaught Rd Hong Kong, Bishopsgate City of London, La Defence Paris and Taunusanlage Frankfurt; they all have two things in common, no residents and the buy in of the conservation lobby. With the exception of Frankfurt these cities are top 10 global tourist hubs to boot.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby GrahamH » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:52 pm

This is the worst outcome possible. In effect, it splits a single high-rise debate that we ceremoniously have every five years, into a multitude of high-rise debates to be liberally scattered over the lifetime of the Plan. And still leaving us where we started: without a coherent vision for the city.

The major concern that the conservation sector and indeed wider community has at the moment, which it is entirely understandable and founded in factual precedent, is that Dublin City Council cannot be trusted with a broad brush-stroke policy that may work successfully in other cities. Indeed, they admitted in a form only yesterday that they cannot trust themselves, stating a six storey cap would “inevitably result in bulky ‘groundscapers’. Why? Only if you let it. You're the ones in control, with members of the RIAI designing the subject developments who are currently going to great lengths to 'protect standards' in the profession. What do we have to worry about?

What I think the city needs is designated areas where clear height limits are set out. This may take time, but it is the only mechanism that establishes clearly defined, unbreachable rules, and lets everyone know where they stand. As such, large swathes of the city centre - note, not everywhere - could be designated as Zone 1: a maximum of six storeys, with the potential to rise to eight storeys where there is a clearly demonstrable urban design justification for the increase in height. This exemption could be further controlled by a set difference of no more than say, three storeys from the majority of surrounding buildings, that it be based on design excellence (though what shouldn’t be...), thus avoiding random set-back storeys and their ilk, and that increased heights would generally be favoured towards the centre of development sites, with an emphasis placed on maintaining a six storey scale to surrounding streetscape.

This may sound convoluted, but it’s relatively straightforward to implement in development plan speak. This is not forgetting that certain areas can be designated Zone 2: where up to eight storeys would be permitted based on a wider staggering of heights and maintenance of a human scale to the area. Zone 3 could permit medium-rise as punctuation marks only, based around the standards of the lower zones, and Zone 4 would permit high-rise based on an LAP, and potentially also include a medium-rise only standard where development goes beyond a certain quantum of scale defined by Zone 3.

Again it may sound complicated, but it is relatively straightforward to set out in planning jargon. Whether it could actually work I'll leave for planning professionals to judge. But there is no question - a rulebook is needed when the barmy Irish way of doing things is brought into play. We need to set controls for ourselves.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:57 am

What I think the city needs is designated areas where clear height limits are set out. This may take time, but it is the only mechanism that establishes clearly defined, unbreachable rules, and lets everyone know where they stand. As such, large swathes of the city centre - note, not everywhere - could be designated as Zone 1: a maximum of six storeys, with the potential to rise to eight storeys where there is a clearly demonstrable urban design justification for the increase in height.


I'm not sure that this would take a lot of time; if you look at the functional area of Dublin City Council 60-70% of it comprises mono-use residential areas, parks and insitutional lands surrounded by mono-dimensional residential. Planning applications are down what 70-80% from where they were only 3 - 4 years ago.

Adopting a block by block approach in Dublin 1,2 and the CC fringe commercial zones that extend into D4, D8 & D7 is not asking a lot to offer all parties a little visibility for the next five years; there is nothing to stop an applicant knowingly applying for a proposal that is expressly not compliant with the development plan if they are confident enough to expend signficant planning and design costs on making a sustainable argument; however with a block by block approach they at least would have some gauge on the level of risk that involves.

Why are DCC planners unwilling to offer visibility to all parties do they not trust elected representatives to look favourably at subsequent LAPs written as supplementary documents over the life of the unitary document?
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby thebig C » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:38 pm

Hey

Well, I think the "height zones" idea could possibly work. At least it would provide certainty to anybody attempting to develop a site, its certainly better then the current proposal which turns literally every planning application into an uncertain gamble! Luckily for the Councillors, the market is so bereft of applications that the effects of this reactionary move won't be felt for several years.

I would qualify the the "height zones" proposal with the following worry though, this is Dublin......highrise always draws vitriolic hatred! Areas such as Heuston and the Docklands are always most popularly suggested as good locations for highrise. One of the reasons is public transport links, but, more importantly it is felt that they have small residual populations. Well, in the Docklands we saw how a handfull of objecting residents on Mayor St effectively halted Spencer Dock and subsequently reduced the heights to a fraction of what was originally proposed. Also, in spite of the DDDAs planning powers, which were designed to circumvent protest and planning delays, only a handful of buildings of more then 10 floors were built in the Docks!

Moreover, many of the objections to highrise proposals in Dublin come not from neighbours of the proposed buildings but from those based miles away who object on the grounds that "they will be able to see the proposed buildings"!! I know its crazy, but those objections are taken seriously! And, in looking in particular at Heuston, I would be will to bet that any proposals there will be rejected on the basis that they intrude on Collins Barracks, The Ryal Hospital, Phoenix Park etc!! Granted, overshadowing is a definate negative, but, when we enter the relm of not even permitting a building to appear in a view or on a horizon......with highrise that will always be a deal breaker!

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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby reddy » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:45 pm

Its amazing how low rise the city actually is - the new monte vetro tower - hardly high rise - peeks above the horizon in so many unexpected places. However this surely is not a reason to block tall building altogether.

I agree with Paul Keogh's assertion in the radio interview - its very depressing that this issue is still dominating the development plan debate rather than the bigger picture of creating a plan which drives toward an overarching vision for the city.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby thebig C » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:20 pm

reddy wrote:Its amazing how low rise the city actually is - the new monte vetro tower - hardly high rise - peeks above the horizon in so many unexpected places. However this surely is not a reason to block tall building altogether.

I agree with Paul Keogh's assertion in the radio interview - its very depressing that this issue is still dominating the development plan debate rather than the bigger picture of creating a plan which drives toward an overarching vision for the city.


PK is correct, we really should have moved on by now.

Its a pitty his proposal for Heuston Gate was not built. Funnily enough, despite acres of dross being built during the boom, highrise is one area which fared badly. For example, several tall buildings actually managed to get FPP but were never built, Heustongate being one and there was another over 90m on Sir John Rogersons Quay which fell victim to a change of ownership.

That aside, the fact that only a handful of buildings over 10 floors were built during possible the greatest comparitive building boom in history really show just how opposed to highrise sections of officialdom are!

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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby Devin » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:27 pm

You've got to look at what the City Council are doing here. It's not good enough to just say 'aw paul keogh is right when he says the issue attracts too much attention', reddy and big C. The City Council are not doing this for the reasons they say they are; to improve clarity, to give more certanty etc. That's BS. They're doing it because - like every local authority in the country - they're reeling in shock because their chief source of revenue (development rates) suddenly dried up, and want to lessen building restriction in the hope that it might start again.

What the City Council are doing here is like overzoning for high density and high rise. It's zoning for a capacity that will never be taken up - look at all the unbuilt permitted development in the city centre in the last 5 years There is more than enough capacity for high rise and high density in the areas identified in the current development plan, and in the outer areas identified in the new plan on public transport routes, particularly the Kildare rail line which has been doubled now so that commuter trains and mainline are separate as you find in major cities. It's nonsense to suggest development will go eksewhere with a less than 8-floor residential height for the centre of Dublin, which is reckless from the point of view of maintaining the scale of the city streets.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:13 pm

In the UK they diagnosed a problem with particular local authorities granting unsutainable planning consents on the basis that local authorities would take an extremely favourable view of many planning applications because any built property resulted in commercial business rates. To remedy the problem the UK altered its system to one where the national government receives all business rates (but not residential council tax) and then issues subventions based on a clear set of criteria to all local authorities.

A similar move may be appropriate in Ireland.


Groundscrapers are the real problem i.e. 8 storey buildings where height should be limited to say 4 to 6 stories to preserve the existing grain; the problem has never been genuinely tall buildings as those are rarely applied for and when they are they are rarely refused because few will take the risk of spending a seven figure sum on design fees knowing the location is inappropriate.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby onq » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:22 am

The nominal city core - the business district - will continue to move Eastwards, towards the bay, filing in and re-using land where it needs to as it has with the CHDDA lands and Grand Canal Square.

Without take up in the now devalued older office stock between booms, an opportunity will arise to reclaim some of our Georgian Heritage for restoration and residential use, that should be seized, replacing single use offices with vibrant communities again.

The city will spread North where it is less constrained, but poorly drained and West where it is relatively unrestricted - there will be alternative radial feeders to cater for distribution and an outer M50 ring to cater for volume, define traffic movement and delimit growth into sectors.

Apart from that, new reasons to decentralise need to be developed if that strategy is to be pursued, since the allocation is so haphazard and the take up has been so poor. This will have a slowing down effect on the growth of the city if successful.

If the decentralization idea with its endless points of growth is abandoned, with growth allowed to occur in five or six main centres of urbanization, then denser urban forms could be considered.

I see no reason to espouse over tall, flag waving building in place of carefully considered strategies of higher densities and lower scale scale intended to re-knit the fabric of the city like the Timberyard, to point at one possible, workable solution.

Massive towers looming over existing local communities are not the way to go, and high rise building still does not suit the Irish relationship to land and property, even for the very rich - they prefer landed estates to towering infernos, leaving the penthouses to the pretentious nouveau riche, of which there seem to be precious few around at the moment.

ONQ.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby thebig C » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:10 pm

Onq

Some of the points you seem to be espousing, such as further sprawl and a second M50, are exactly why we need to consider building some highrise, albeit in the correct locations.

C
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby PVC King » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:32 pm

I agree on an outer M50 being a very bad idea; however you can't see it being on the agenda as a serious runner for a very very long time. What has led to a lot of the sprawl is local authorities granting inapropriate permissions for vastly over-scaled schemes on the borders of their functional areas knowing that they get to retain the rating income whilst not having to provide much of the infrastructure; i.e. loading the costs of servicing and maintaining specific developments onto neighbouring local authorities through which the transportation links etc are routed.

It is felt that only by letting national government collect commercial rates will local authorities begin to behave in a sustainable fashion. Only a block by block approach can truely answer what is sustainable and what would constitute an appropriate intervention to the existing amenity of the city.
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Re: Dublin height focus of planning debate

Postby Smithfield Resi » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:42 pm

Some of the points you seem to be espousing, such as further sprawl and a second M50, are exactly why we need to consider building some density, albeit in the correct locations.


Fixed that for you.

;)
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