jdivision wrote:So the scheme should be lower in height than what's there already?
I don't think it's relevant what the height of the existing hotels structures are. The applicants don't make a big deal out of the hotel precedent, probably because they would have to acknowledge the other precedents set by the existing structures; the retention of the original botanic gardens boundaries, trees etc.
I believe that this site should be developed to a good urban scale, I'm just pointing out that it doesn't have to be 8 to 10 storeys, with a 30+ landmark feature to achieve good urban scale.
You could take this scheme, stick in down on Spencer Dock, and there wouldn't be a problem. The problem is that this scheme doesn't take context into account to the extent that it should.
They are not stupid people in DCC, they know that this scheme contravenes a couple of dozen policy objectives of the Development Plan, so the rational for waving this through must have to do with something else. If there's a bigger picture, let's see what the bigger picture is.
The omission of Block A and the office block, is done in such a strange way that it looks to me like a piece or choreography.
The planner's report goes out of it's way to explain how the planning authority could grant planning permission to the office content, even though the zoning objective appeared to preclude it. The report goes out of it's way to explain that the the planning authority considers the office content, at 25%, to be generally acceptible.
The same applies to the tower (block A). The report is glowing in it's praise of the landmark tower. I think the only criticisms were that the winter garden feature seemed a bit shallow, there were a few too many single aspect apartments, and that the overall scale 'tended towards the excessive'. If this was the assessment, there is actually no reason to refuse permission for it! A couple of well worded conditions could have tweaked it a bit and trimmed it down a fraction.
To me, the report reads like they've tried to write the script for a two act play. They want it all, but they feel they should leave something for Bord Pleanala to deliver, in the second act.