AN BORD Pleanála has approved a proposal to redevelop the former ESB showrooms on Fleet Street, Dublin 2 into an office and retail scheme despite a recommendation by its own inspector to refuse planning permission.
Aztec Properties, controlled by Wexford-based Stafford Holdings, bought the 1960s building for €33 million and is proposing to demolish the four-storey showrooms for a six-storey block with two further storeys set back.
However, An Bord Pleanála has imposed a number of planning conditions, which will reduce the height of the development by one floor and omit a portion of another floor. In granting permission for the scheme, the board overruled its own inspector’s recommendation to refuse permission. The board said it decided not to accept the inspector’s recommendation as it felt that issues regarding height, visual impact and effect on adjoining properties “could be adequately addressed by a reduction in the scale of the development”.
An Taisce appealed the proposal saying the design was trying to cram-in too many floors and is out of scale in an area of historic sensitivity. It said the building adjoins Westmoreland Street which is part of the north/south Georgian axis developed by the Wide Streets Commissioners.
The Fleet Street premises was one of a small number of ESB buildings excluded from the sale of its retail network to Bank of Scotland (Ireland).
The Irish Times