Re: Re: 26-storey tower planned for site in Dublin 8

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Just thought I’d update this with an article from the times.

Bord rejects high-rise schemes in Liberties

Edel Morgan

An Bord Pleanála has rejected two landmark high-rise schemes proposed for adjoining sites in the Digital Hub in Dublin’s Liberties.

Both sites were to be part of a new cultural quarter called SoHo, with a creative corridor along Thomas Street, as well as a new urban civic space around Cornmarket.

Manor Park Homebuilders lost its first party appeal to An Bord Pleanála to build a massive commercial, residential and leisure scheme with two slender glazed towers, the tallest of which would have been 56 storeys (or 171ft) – three times the height of Liberty Hall.

An Bord Pleanála said, while it supports the development of a Digital Hub in this part of the city, it refused permission on the grounds of excessive height (ranging from 11 to 56 storeys), the scale of the development and the “unsatisfactory nature and form of development based on a podium with full site coverage” which would not be in keeping with the historic character of the area.

Designed by de Blacam and Meagher architects, the second tower would have been 124 metres (409ft) and would have comprised 32 storeys of offices. The proposal was for a 81,179sq m (873,803sq ft) development to front Thomas Street West, Crane Street and Rainsfort Street, and including 38,398sq m (413,312sq ft) of offices, a 360-bed hotel with 85 apart-hotel units overhead, 6,038sq m (64,992sq ft) of retail and café/restaurant space, a bar, public areas, 125 apartments and an educational resource centre.

In addition, permission was also sought to change the use of VAT House No 7, a former Guinness facility, to office and bar use.

Manor Park Homebuilders has already submitted another planning application for the site. This time around the tallest building proposed fronting Thomas Street West and Crane Street is 26 storeys, or 30 storeys inclusive of a podium.

The development would be 59,500sq m (640,452sq ft) with over 7,000sq m (75,347sq ft) of retail, 47,000sq m (505,903sq ft) of office space, 1,200sq m (12,917sq ft) of bar or public space, a public observatory and 25 apartments, all spread over eight blocks.

An Bord Pleanála has also turned developer P Elliott down for a development with a 16-storey residential tower at the nearby Windmill site, overturning planning permission granted by Dublin City Council for the scheme. As well as citing its excessive height, the board said the “unsatisfactory design and layout of the blocks” would give rise to “undue overlooking and overshadowing between apartments and present poorly composed and unsatisfactory elevations to Thomas, Watling and Bonham streets”.

Designed by HKR architects, the 45,000sq m (484,375sq ft) mixed-use development planned for 269 apartments, 6,422sq m (69,126sq ft) of office space for digital media, more than 7,000sq m (75,347sq ft) of general office space, as well as 3,000sq m (32,292sq ft) of retail, restaurant, crèche, gym and exhibition/community space.

The site is within an area defined by Thomas Street and James Street to the south, Watling Street to the west, Bonham Street to the north and the IAWS building and Marshalsea Wall to the east.

Manor Park Homebuilders bought its 2.5-acre site in Dublin 8 by tender from the State. Another developer, P Elliott & Co, acquired a further 3.1 acres. Both sites sold for €118 million but the State accepted part-payment in the form of office buildings, reducing the cash payment to €72 million.

© 2007 The Irish Times

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