Tuesday 15 October 2019

Green light for O'Brien office block extension plan

Approval: Business associated with Denis O’Brien has won planning fight
Approval: Business associated with Denis O’Brien has won planning fight

Gordon Deegan

Dublin City Council has granted planning to a company associated with billionaire businessman Denis O'Brien for additional floors on an office block in the city's docklands.

Earlier this year, Jepview Ltd lodged plans to replace the fourth-floor penthouse on the Malt House building and construct an additional four storeys on the new storey, to result in a nine-storey office block. However, Jepview omitted one of the proposed new floors after the council said the plan may be excessive.

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The council sought revised plans earlier this year after its conservation officer said that "effectively this development will consist of five floors of a glazed vertical extension over a four-storey Victorian warehouse building". The conservation officer added that the proposed extension should be reduced by at least two storeys to ensure the scale of the glass extension remained appropriate.

However, the omission of only one floor was deemed sufficient by the council.

The grant for the vertical expansion of the Malt House building follows the city council planner concluding that the proposal "will upgrade a prominent location in the city centre, contribute to employment in the area, and will allow for the construction of a striking and innovative contemporary/modern extension to an existing building in an inner- city location".

The planner in the case also concluded that the proposal "exhibits a distinctive contemporary design which will make a positive contribution to the subject site and Dublin's urban fabric".

The council granted planning after concluding that the proposed development would not seriously injure existing buildings or the surrounding location.

The broader Malt House site was built in 1886 by Guinness as a barley store or malt house.

The property was extensively redeveloped in the mid-1990s and all that remains of the original fabric are the external masonry walls.

Jepview planning consultant Kevin Hughes told the council that the contemporary design of the building "is deliberately different from the historic structure and will enhance the protected structure below it".

Irish Independent

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