DUBLIN City Council's strategic development zone (SDZ) planning scheme for the docklands covers 163 acres of riverside lands, 54 of which are available for development.
It is the first major planning initiative for the area since the Government's decision to wind up the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and transfer its powers to the council. If it is approved by An Bord Pleanala, all future planning applications within the zone must be granted permission if they are consistent with the scheme's guidelines. The SDZ has been divided into five development hubs around Spencer Dock, Point Village, Grand Canal Dock, Britain Quay and Boland's Mills. Two areas – the Point Square and Britain Quay – have been identified as suitable for a 22-storey commercial building. A 15-storey building would be permitted at Boland's Mills, and a 14-storey block at Spencer Dock. Height bands of between five and eight storeys for commercial buildings and six to 10 storeys for residential developments have been set down in the remaining areas.
The drafting of the scheme started on foot of an announcement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan in December 2012 designating the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock areas as an SDZ on the grounds that it is an area of economic or social importance to the country.