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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Ronan to appeal as tower bid rejected

How Tara House would look
How Tara House would look

Ronald Quinlan and Cormac McQuinn

Developer Johnny Ronan is to appeal Dublin City Council's decision to reject his plan to build Dublin's tallest building on Tara Street.

The rejection by city planners of Mr Ronan's bid to develop Tara House, a 22-storey tower comprising offices, a hotel and roof-top restaurant, comes despite the fact its site had already been earmarked in plans approved by Dublin City Council for high-rise development.

In dismissing his application, city planners said it would have a "significant and detrimental visual impact" on the city's existing skyline.

It is understood Mr Ronan is to appeal decision to An Bord Pleanala.

Separately, Mr Ronan argued height restrictions on buildings in Dublin's docklands are "contrary to the national interest" in a letter to former housing minister Simon Coveney.

Dublin's Docklands are part of a Special Development Zone (SDZ) and Mr Ronan wants to develop land at Spencer Dock.

He said current SDZ generally only allows for development of six to seven storeys in height.

"This is despite the fact that we have already delivered 620 best-in-class apartments in blocks of up to 12 storeys on the same site in Spencer Dock," he added.

In the January 23 letter, he wrote that under current laws it would take between 18 months and two years to change the SDZ to allow for increased height and density.

He suggested the introduction of a "fast-track mechanism" to amend such schemes.

Mr Ronan also wrote: "To under-develop this key city centre regeneration area, currently restricted to half the height of the surrounding buildings, would be a most regrettable outcome - from a socially, politically and town planning perspective - and would be contrary to the national interest."

A Housing Department spokesman last night said there were "no current plans to amend planning legislation with regard to addressing building height issues".

Irish Independent

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