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€480m Player House flats plan in doubt

A PLAN for a new Dublin city quarter, including 484 apartments, has been thrown into doubt.

The project proposed for John Player House on South Circular Road received the go-ahead more than six years ago.

When the scheme did not proceed, developer Players Square Ltd sought an extension of the planning permission.

But Dublin City Council has now refused to grant the application, placing a question mark over whether the apartments will be built.

In its ruling, the local authority outlined how the plans contravene the policy and standards of the Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017, which was not in place when original approval was given.

In particular, the proposals breach the guidelines on height.

"It is the policy to protect and enhance the intrinsic quality of Dublin as a predominantly low-rise city and to provide for taller buildings in the designated limited locations," the council stated.

"The height in the majority of this development is substantially higher than the limits set out in section 17.6.2 (of the development plan) of six storeys residential and below 19 metres," it added.

LIMIT

The local authority pointed out four of the nine blocks planned for John Player House – blocks C, D, E, and F – are "above the limit at up to seven and eight storeys with heights of 24 metres to 27.8 metres".

A further two blocks, while meeting the limit of six storeys, are above the limit on height at 21 to 22 metres, the council said.

The council's decision means the development will have to proceed before 2016 or the original approval will lapse.

When the 10-year permission was granted by An Bord Pleanala in 2006, the full effects of the property crash had yet to take hold.

The plan was designed as a €480m blueprint for a new city precinct at the former John Player cigarette factory on South Circular Road.

Players Square was to be developed by UK urban regeneration specialist Bee Bee Developments Ireland and developer PJ Walls.

The plans include provision for 484 one, two and three-bed apartments, in buildings of up to 11 storeys, as well as 10,000sq m of retail space in 13 units.

comurphy@herald.ie


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