Saturday 23 March 2019

Outcry over Iput office plan for IDA Dublin HQ

Dublin City Council gave the plan the go-ahead last month but the plans have now been on hold after eight appeals. Stock Image
Dublin City Council gave the plan the go-ahead last month but the plans have now been on hold after eight appeals. Stock Image

Gordon Deegan

Plans by Iput to demolish the IDA global HQ at Wilton Place and construct a seven-storey development in its place are facing strong local opposition.

Dublin City Council gave the plan the go-ahead last month but the plans have now been on hold after eight appeals, including one from An Taisce, have been lodged against the decision at An Bord Pleanála.

Iput is the largest domestic owner of prime office buildings in Dublin's central business district and currently has net assets of €2.4bn.

The Pembroke Rd Residents' Association is one of the parties opposing the Wilton plan to accommodate between 3,500 to 4,000 workers.

They state that recent office block developments have already brought 3,000 office workers into the Upper Baggot Street area.

The residents state that it does not make sense to further aggravate the traffic congestion, and the pressure on schools and creches from working parents by imposing thousands more office workers in this part of Dublin.

The Residents Association also says that in recent years, Baggot Street has had a number of office developments 'plonked' down without consideration of the cumulative effect on the local neighbourhood.

An Taisce states that the proposed development involves an excessive level of intervention into the historic triangular green park, Wilton Square.

However, the city council gave the plan the go-ahead after concluding that the proposed development will upgrade one of the most prominent locations in the city.

The planner recommending approval stated that the proposal exhibits a distinctive contemporary design which will make a positive contribution to the Dublin's urban fabric.

After almost 35 years at Wilton Place, the IDA is relocating its global HQ to Three Park Place on Upper Hatch Street in Dublin 2. Iput's architects, Henry J Lyons, state that the proposed scheme will create a socially vibrant hub and an economically viable highly sustainable group of buildings which will improve the civic nature of this important part of the city.

The plan includes restaurants, gym and coffee shop along with a public square.

The architects state that "overall, this is a highly intelligent and carefully considered redevelopment" pointing out that the existing buildings to be demolished are outdated.

Iput is to spend €4m on pubic realm work for the scheme. LinkedIn, which has its EMEA HQ at the adjoining Wilton Place, wrote a letter of support to Dublin City Council in favour of the development.

Irish Independent

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