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Google gets garden but smoking and partying is banned

THEY'LL be in the open air two floors off the ground but Google employees won't be able to have a cigarette.

The internet giant has been given the green light to develop a new roof garden but staff will be banned from smoking or partying.

In fact, staff will have to clear out of the 342 square metre landscaped area by 7pm every night.

Planners gave approval to Google to modify its European headquarters, located at Gordon House, off Barrow Street, and South Lotts Road in Dublin 4, on strict conditions.

The development will consist of the construction of a landscaped terrace bound by a 1.8-metre acoustic screen on the second floor.

The building already has an extensive flat roof, which is to be laid with decking.

Walkways, seating and even a swing are to be installed.

"The purpose of the terrace is to provide a fun and innovative work environment for Google's employees," the planning case officer noted.

The official was concerned about the overlooking of adjoining homes and noise from the terrace.

R eport

As a result, the terrace will be set back a minimum of five metres from the parapet, while boundary fencing will also be installed.

An acoustic report submitted by Google predicted noise associated with activities on the terrace and determined that they are unlikely to give rise to complaints.

The officer stated: "It is considered, based on the acoustic report that the proposed terrace will not result in any significant increase in noise levels.

"However, in order to ensure that the use of the space in the future does not lead to any problems, it is recommended that conditions be included to restrict the use of the terrace to between the hours of 9am to 7pm Monday to Saturday."

In its final decision, the council restricted use of the terrace to 10 hours a day.

In order to protect surrounding residents from disturbance, the garden cannot host social gatherings and no amplifiers can be used.

Google was named as the best company to work for by US magazine Fortune in 2011.

It employs more than 32,000 people worldwide.

comurphy@herald.ie


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