Saturday 16 December 2017

An Taisce objects to €200m Ronan scheme

An artist’s impression of the ‘Project Pegasus’ proposal for Dublin 4
An artist’s impression of the ‘Project Pegasus’ proposal for Dublin 4

Gordon Deegan

An Taisce is one of a number of parties to lodge objections against developer Johnny Ronan's plans for a new €200m office block plan in Dublin 4.

Last month, Mr Ronan continued his comeback to the property scene after lodging plans for a two-block office development that will be six storeys high over three levels of basement.

Last year, Mr Ronan acquired the site containing four vacant office blocks and surrounding land for €67.5m. It's situated in front of AIB's Bankcentre building, opposite the RDS grounds, on Merrion Road.

However, the new plan is facing opposition from An Taisce and a number of local residents. The plan - codenamed Project Pegasus - will be 52,247 sq m. That's more than five times the 9,789 sq m in gross floor area of the existing four office blocks that are going to be demolished.

In An Taisce's objection, its heritage officer, Ian Lumley, claims that the intensity of office use of the site would be excessive; the proposed development would be over-scaled; and it would detract from the residential amenities of the area.

Mr Lumley claims that the height, bulk and scale of the proposed development is excessive and out of character.

Mr Lumley writes: "The impact of the proposed development would be visually obtrusive and overbearing and apart from its negative impact on the Protected Structures; the juxtaposition of buildings of this height, bulk, scale and incompatible design with neighbouring mid-19th century domestic houses on Merrion Rd and on Serpentine Avenue would be unacceptable".

Planning Consultants for Mr Ronan's firm, RGRE Ballsbridge Developments Ltd, have told the City Council that the site is a suitable location to provide a more intensive form of development which meets the demand for HQ accommodation within this area of Dublin.

The planning consultants for Mr Ronan have described the plan as "modest in scale".

Irish Independent

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