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No objections to Central Bank's Anglo HQ move

THE Central Bank's plans for a new headquarters in Dublin's Docklands have been boosted after no objections were lodged.

The deadline for public submissions passed this week without any person or organisation expressing opposition to the scheme.

It means that if Dublin City Council gives the go-ahead, the plans cannot be delayed by an appeal to An Bord Pleanala.

Approval is being sought for an eight-storey office block at a site previously earmarked as a new headquarters for the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank.

The plans outline how the proposed open space at North Wall Quay in the Docklands would be an "attractive, safe and inspiring" amenity.

LEVY

The development would have a total floor area of 29,358 square metres.

Members of the public had until March 3 to make submissions, and a decision by the council is now due within three weeks.

The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) lodged a standard observation to point out that the development should be subject to the Luas levy, a charge imposed on projects benefiting from the transport infrastructure.

The bank hopes to move from its current home in Dame Street to the Docklands in the first half of 2016.

The architect for the scheme, Henry J Lyons and Partners, was chosen after a competition.

Its design puts an emphasis on making the building as energy-efficient as possible to minimise maintenance costs over time.

At an expected building cost of €140m, the offices will include a fine mesh facade made of anodised metal.

Its energy rating of A2 will make it one of the most power- efficient buildings in the country.

The blueprint was inspired by 41 Cooper Square, an award-winning building in New York's East Village.

If it gets the go-ahead, the building will create 350 jobs during the construction phase.

The Central Bank intends to relocate 1,400 staff to its new headquarters from three different sites including its landmark home in Temple Bar.

CONCERNS

The bank owns three buildings in Dame Street which could fetch as much as €40m when sold.

The Docklands site is located within a 163-acre development area which is to be governed by a council framework plan that will specify height limitations.

In a submission on the framework document, the Central Bank drew attention to the potential for its new headquarters to be overshadowed.

It said it has "some serious concerns" that it will be surrounded by taller buildings.

The bank said it is worried it will be "dominated" and "overlooked" by adjacent buildings, taking away from its status as "an institution of national significance".

It asked An Bord Pleanala to alter the local authority's plan to "avoid any potential for visual dominance" of its new premises.

COMURPHY@HERALD.IE


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