Business Commercial Property

Sunday 15 December 2019

Ronan appeals to save €2.5m underground plan

Developer Johnny Ronan
Developer Johnny Ronan

Gordon Deegan

Dublin will not provide enough modern office accommodation over the next three to four years after a record take-up of 3.4m sq ft in 2017, it has been argued.

Property firm Knight Frank made the claim during a submission in support of developer Johnny Ronan's plans to go underground at one of Dublin's best known Georgian squares.

Last month, Mr Ronan's plan fell foul of Dublin City Council planners who refused permission for an office extension beneath his Fitzwilliam Square house. The extension would run the length of the property's garden and finish under a mews fronting on to Pembroke Lane.

Mr Ronan has now lodged a comprehensive appeal against the decision with An Bord Pleanála. Knight Frank director Declan O'Reilly said the Ronan plan "will help to provide much-needed accommodation in Dublin".

He said that Mr Ronan is proposing to spend €2.5m on the refurbishment of the building "and therefore in order to make this an economically viable project, the design must reflect the demands of the occupiers in the current market".

Mr O'Reilly said "there is very strong precedent for permitted basement development, within commercial buildings in the Georgian area of Dublin". He added: "We firmly propose that progress design proposals, which respect the 18th century history of the conservation area while also catering what is required in the 21st century is a fundamental step forward.

"The most effective way to preserve history is active use."

The planning consultant for Mr Ronan, John Spain & Associates, has offered to reduce the size of the basement in that it would not extend below the mews building.

Plan objector Amaska Holdings, of 67/68 Fitzwilliam Square, has also appealed the decision, calling on the board to strengthen the grounds of refusal.

Irish Independent

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