D-Day for CIE plans on Connolly revamp

On track: Apartments ruling to be made next month

Cormac Murphy

A DECISION on CIE's plans for a massive redevelopment of Dublin's Connolly Station is due in April -- almost a year after the proposals were lodged.

The company wants to build over a dozen buildings up to seven storeys high at the city centre site.

Dublin City Council has now indicated it will rule on the plans next month.

CIE's proposals involve the construction of offices, 106 apartments and a hotel.

However, the company said it would not go ahead unless the market improves -- and there is no sign of that happening as yet.

It is seeking a 10-year planning permission and, if it is granted, CIE will source funding from the private sector.

The company plans to demolish its central train control, maintenance shed and some other office buildings. These would be replaced by an 81,538 square metre mixed-use commercial, community and residential development on a 3.2 hectare site.

In total, 13 new buildings, ranging from two to seven storeys, would be built on an area currently occupied by offices and a car park. Some 106 apartments, with three one-bed, 81 two-bed and 22 three-bed units, would be built in four blocks, while a 110-bedroom hotel would be constructed above Connolly Station. Seven blocks would be take up over 50,000 square metres of office space.

A new street through the site, linking Seville Place and Sheriff Street Lower, would also be built.

Provision for 550 underground car parking spaces, four coach spaces and 260 cycling bays are included in the plans.

CIE believes the site will be popular when there is an upturn in the property market. The National Transport Authority supports the development.

But it stressed the need to provide a "high quality, safe and convenient pedestrian linkage" between the development site and the facilities offered by Connolly Station.

In addition, the NTA opposed the proposal to remove cycle provision from the main access junction at Connolly Street/Seville Place.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority has also welcomed the plans.