Saturday 20 January 2018

Murdoch newspaper group objects to Dublin office plans

News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch.
News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has objected to a planned construction project at its Irish HQ, claiming it will adversely impact an office that must be a "professional, composed workplace".

An Irish unit of US property giant Hines owns the Bishop's Square office block in Dublin city centre, where News Corporation rents about 1,500 sq m on the fourth floor.

It publishes Irish versions of titles such as the 'Sunday Times' and 'Sun' from the offices there.

Hines wants to expand the office block on Lower Kevin Street, adding an extra floor to the already large building.

It would increase its floorspace from about 22,000 sq m to 25,200 sq m.

News Corporation's lease at Bishop's Square expires in 2027. Other tenants at the building include Tourism Ireland, the Office of Public Works and Starbucks. Under the proposals - already approved by Dublin City Council - Hines will add extra space to the fourth and fifth floors, and change it from a six to seven-storey building.

News Corporation has pointed out that it is involved in a range of media and information services. "This [is a] form of commercial activity which requires a professional, composed workplace," it has told An Bord Pleanála.

A planning consultant acting for News Corporation has argued that the impact of the proposed development work would be detrimental to the ability of the media group to carry out its business.

The consultant has also claimed that the proposed height and scale of the development is "an overbearing addition to the existing character of the area". An Taisce is also opposed to Hines' plan.

Irish Independent

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