Sunday 23 July 2017

Planning watchdog rejects office plan

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John Mulligan

John Mulligan

An Bord Pleanála has rejected plans for the construction of three office blocks near Dublin Airport that would have formed the first phase of a landmark business campus designed to emulate those used by tech giants such as Google and Yahoo in California.

Developer Michael Howard's Genvest planned to build 13 office blocks in a project that was likely to cost as much as €250m to develop. However, the planning watchdog said that even construction of the first three offices could negatively impact traffic on the M50 and result in an increased risk of rear-end collisions as traffic backed up. The local council had rejected the plans in November.

"The development of this business park establishes a new benchmark for business communities in Ireland," the company told Fingal County Council in a masterplan submitted last September. "The project builds on the masterplan concepts of companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo."

The initial three office blocks would have each been five storeys tall, and were expected to provide workspace for up to 2,000 people. The business park was also set to include a park and running track.

But An Bord Pleanála said that while the Genvest proposal for the site complied with it being zoned for high technology uses, the National Transport Authority (NTA) had noted that the impact on the road network was of "critical importance" in the case. The NTA indicated that the car-dependent nature of the proposed development would negatively impact the capacity and strategic function of the M1-M50 junctions.

Irish Independent

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