Spencer Place rejects Docklands height concerns

Grand plans: Spencer Place has sought to develop new apartments in Dublin’s Docklands

Gordon Deegan

Johnny Ronan's Spencer Place Development Ltd has stated that its mooted €350m residential plan extending to 13 storeys in Dublin's Docklands will not give rise to 'ad-hoc' proposals for increases in building heights across the area.

Mr Ronan's firm has lodged plans for 464 apartments along with 200 'shared accommodation' bed spaces in the application with An Bord Pleanála.

The developer already has planning for 349 apartments and an aparthotel at the site, and the enlarged proposal seeks to increase two seven-storey buildings to 11 and 13 storeys.

Spencer Place is seeking to build the blocks on City Block 2, Spencer Dock on a site bounded by Sheriff Street Upper to Wapping Street.

Dublin City Council has told the firm that it is to acquire from it a number of apartments for social and affordable housing, under Part V of the Planning and Development Act.

In documentation lodged with An Bord Pleanála, Mr Ronan's firm has put an estimated cost of €391,541 on each unit under Part V.

The appeals board had already given the plan a preliminary examination prior to the firm formally lodging the planning application under the Government's fast-track rules.

As a result of the examination of the proposals, the appeals board has told the firm that the development may give rise to ad-hoc proposals for height increases in the area, and undermine the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme, particularly in relation to the permitted maximum heights.

However, this has been rejected by consultants for the firm at John Spain and Associates. The planning consultants state that the precedent of higher buildings is already set within the area, and the provision for increased height will not give rise to ad-hoc proposals.

The planning documents also include a 'virtual fly-over' of the proposed development, and Mr Spain states it is clear from the video imagery that the development is set within a context capable of achieving greater heights and densities.

In response to An Bord Pleanála's view that the shared accommodation required further consideration, Mr Ronan's firm has upgraded the shared accommodation.

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