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Fears over Gravity Bar views delay Dublin apartment plans


Sweeping view: Tourists look at the Dublin skyline from the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse

Sweeping view: Tourists look at the Dublin skyline from the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse

Sweeping view: Tourists look at the Dublin skyline from the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse

Dublin City Council has put on hold plans for a 13-storey apartment development by Patrick Crean's Marlet Property Group due in part to concerns that it may compromise views from the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse.

In June, Marlet, one of the country's largest builders, lodged plans for a 10-year planning permission to construct 550 'build-to-rent' apartments in five blocks in the Liberties area near to the Guinness brewery.

The council put the plan on hold after the chief executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Federation, Eoghan O'Mara Walsh, told it that the proposal would "compromise the visitor experience and views from the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse".

Consultants for Guinness owner Diageo told the council: "Key to the continued success of the Storehouse are the views from the Gravity Bar, where the tour finishes.

"Diageo is keen to ensure that the proposed developments are cognisant of the impact the development may have on these views."

The Guinness Storehouse is Ireland's most popular paid tourist attraction, with 1.8 million visitors a year.

The City Council told Marlet subsidiary Atlas GP to submit revised plans to address the issue.

Plans for the towers include shops, restaurants, medical facilities, co-working spaces and a creche, as well as apartments.

In its information request, the council asked Atlas for revised plans, providing up-to-date information regarding the development's impact on the view to the west-southwest of the bar.

It also asked for 3D massing diagrams to clearly indicate the heights and proximity of all new blocks and adjacent buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Guinness Storehouse and Guinness Building, which are protected structures.

Massing diagrams show structures in three dimensions and not just the outline from a single perspective. They give a better idea of the actual impact of buildings.

A report from the council's planner said that objections regarding visual impact had been noted.

However, the report added that the "views from the Gravity Bar are not protected and therefore any proposal which will be within the line of vision from this location should be considered on its own merits".

The report said that while the Liberties Local Area Plan refers to views from the Gravity Bar, and the need to maintain and protect its key views, it did not consider that the views to the west- southwest of the Gravity Bar were "key views".

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The report stated: "Notwithstanding this consideration, it is considered appropriate that the applicant provide an accurate baseline upon which to fully assess the impact of the development on the wider area."

The plan by Atlas GP is seeking to supersede a planning permission already secured for the site.

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