Plan allows for ‘landmark’ high-rise building


New plans for the regeneration of Dublin’s southeast inner city, which could facilitate the construction of a “landmark” high-rise building opposite the Custom House, are being prepared by Dublin City Council. Public consultation on the drafting of a local area plan for the George’s Quay area to direct all future development in an area from Lombard Street to Hawkins Street, where the Department of Health building stands, and from the quays to Townsend Street and Pearse Street, will begin within weeks.

The plan, which will have the same status as the city development plan, replaces a previous strategy for the area which would have permitted a 22-storey building at Tara Street station and the demolition of several buildings, including the Department of Health headquarters at Hawkins House and the social welfare offices at Apollo House on Tara Street , both built in the 1960s.

Following disputes over the inclusion of a 22-storey building, which would have been twice the height of Liberty Hall, councillors last year voted to defer making any development strategy for the area until after the new city development plan was adopted.

However, in the new development plan, passed last December, George’s Quay is one of only four sites in the city where high-rise buildings are permissible. The document, which will be put out to public consultation in May, confirms that the area has potential for a building greater than 50m (164ft) tall to “promote investment, vitality and identity”. Any “landmark building” should not, however, intrude on the character of the main square at Trinity College.

The guiding principles for the new plan also allow for one or two mid-rise buildings, of up to 50m, at the City Quay end of the development area, which would be “well set back” from the river’s six-to-eight-storey shoulder height. Towards the western boundary of the zone, another mid-rise building could be incorporated into the Hawkins House redevelopment.

The Irish Times