AN BORD Pleanála has rejected a proposal by developer Liam Carroll of Zoe Developments to demolish a late-1990s apartment block and replace it with a six-storey office building on the corner of Island Street and Watling Street in Dublin 8.
Carroll built the New Maltings block of 47 apartments in 1998 and retained ownership, renting them out.
The block, which is mostly four-storey but has a fifth storey element at one corner, was built in the same complex as another earlier five-block apartment development called The Maltings, also developed by Carroll.
An Bord Pleanála ruled that the demolition of the apartments to build an office block would introduce "incompatible land use" and would overlook adjacent semi private open space for residents.
This overturns a Dublin City Council decision in April to approve the demolition saying the apartments provide "a very poor residential amenity with small units" and said it has "a significant number of north-facing apartments and poor private open space and storage facilities".
In an appeal to the board, a resident of The Maltings said the proposal runs counter to the objectives of Section 23 tax relief and that knocking an apartment block would set a precedent for other Section 23 developments "to consider a more commercially attractive office or retail use, to the potential detriment of residential communities". Section 23 reliefs on the apartments ran out in July.
The resident pointed to the Dublin City development plan which says that it is council policy to discourage the demolition of habitable houses "unless the streetscape, environmental and amenity considerations are satisfied and there is a net increase in the number of dwellings provided".
In its decision, An Bord Pleanála said that due to the restricted size of the site, the six-storey development would be "visually intrusive" and would impact on the amenity of adjoining residents and would result in overdevelopment of the site.
The Irish Times