| 11.6°C Dublin

Support grows for ESB plans ahead of key vote

THE ESB's redevelopment plans for its headquarters have received a major boost ahead of a crucial vote.

Dublin city councillors will decide tonight if the power company should be obliged to restore a Georgian facade which was torn down nearly half-a-century ago.

Many historic townhouses were demolished in 1965 to facilitate the construction of the existing headquarters in Fitzwilliam Street Lower.

The current City Development Plan has as one of its objectives the reinstatement of the facade.

But the ESB believes the obligation is overly restrictive and would severely curtail its vision for the site.


Now an increasing number of councillors are saying they support the removal of the requirement.

"I will be supporting the variation (of the City Development Plan) as I believe it is essential to ensure that the current ESB Head office workforce of 1,400 is held in our city," said Fine Gael councillor Gerry Breen.

Labour's Mary Freehill indicated that she will also support the variation, after the ESB agreed to convert part of its offices in Mount Street Lower into apartments.

Costing €100m, the redevelopment would have a construction phase of two-and-a-half years and employ around 400 people.