Property owners in row with Johnny Ronan over extra floors at Salesforce Tower
Approving Johnny Ronan's plans for additional floors on the Salesforce Tower development in Dublin's docklands "would make a mockery of the planning scheme process", according to a management company representing the interests of 616 property owners in the area.
The company told Dublin City Council that the planning scheme for the area, which is a Government-designated "strategic development zone" (SDZ), sets the maximum permissible height at eight storeys.
Mr Ronan wants to expand the building to 11 storeys, which he says would accommodate an extra 1,000 workers.
In January, Mr Ronan wrote to the council saying approval of the floors was "essential" to accommodate Salesforce's needs, the 'Sunday Business Post' reported at the weekend. "Needless to say, this means extra quality JOBS, JOBS, JOBS for Ireland," the letter said.
However, the management company, which represents property owners in the nearby Spencer Dock development, said its clients "would be undermined by any decision to grant permission in contravention of the planning scheme".
It said that to consider permitting the additional building height "would be to completely undermine the integrity of the SDZ planning scheme process".
"Setting aside the planning scheme would set a precedent for similar decisions throughout the entire docklands area which would make a mockery of the planning scheme process and bring such decisions under the threat of legal challenge."
The management firm says the appropriate course of action is to undertake a detailed and systematic analysis of the merits or otherwise of increased heights across the docklands, and only then consider any proposals for heights exceeding those set down in the planning scheme.
Planning consultant for Mr Ronan's Spencer Place Ltd, John Spain, has argued the application provides for only a modest increase in height. He said only allowing eight storeys is "a direct contradiction to national planning guidance which seeks to promote development in key urban sites".