Green light for €100m Tara Street Station
IARNROD Eireann has been given the go-ahead to build a 12-storey railway station and offices in the middle of Dublin.
Yesterday, An Bord Pleanala approved plans to build a 50-metre-high building at Tara Street. It will be just nine metres shorter than the country's first skyscraper, Liberty Hall, which is directly across the Liffey.
A 10-year planning permission was granted, so the building must be completed by 2020.
The station is already one of the country's busiest in the country, with 25,000 passengers a day using it. Demand will grow as the number of trains entering the station increases. The 14,500 passengers per hour at peak times will be catered for in the new development, which is expected to cost €100m.
In its decision, An Bord Pleanala overruled its own inspector, who had recommended that permission should be refused.
Iarnrod Eireann had previously been told to reduce the building height by 10 metres, so it would not have an adverse impact on the Custom House.
Last night, the company said it planned to develop the building with a private-sector partner and that it was confident the work would go ahead.
A spokesman said: "The expansion of Tara Street Station is a crucial part of our development plans for the capacity of the rail network in the Greater Dublin area.
"While recognising the challenges of the current market situation, we are determined to progress these plans as soon as possible."
The company had sought permission for a new railway station concourse, with a commercial air-rights development above it. The plan includes demolition of the existing structure and the construction of a 20,990sqm building rising 12 levels above the street.
Access to the new station will be from Tara Street and George's Quay, with 14,990sqm of offices on 10 levels over the station concourse.
An Bord Pleanala said that given the need to upgrade facilities at the city-centre railway station, the development should be approved.
It said: "It is considered that the proposed development, as reduced in scale in response to the notice from An Bord Pleanala, would not adversely impact on the setting of the Custom House; would not detract from the visual character and amenity of the city centre and would be acceptable in terms of its height, outline and siting.
"The board considered that Tara Street Station will still remain a centrally important station, with a high volume of passenger throughput."
Iarnrod Eireann will pay An Bord Pleanala and Dublin City Council €54,000 to meet the cost of processing its planning application.
The company will have to protect the 19th-century railway arches and platform walls in the new development.