Sunday, 2 November 2008

Google office extension refusal a blow to Carroll

Property developer Liam Carroll has suffered a significant blow with planners blocking a major expansion of the building he owns which houses the Irish headquarters of Google.

Carroll has been told he cannot extend the Google office block in Dublin 4 by 5,000 square metres. An Bord Pleanala ruled against the extension last week.

"I am not convinced that there is an overriding need for an extension of the office building or that the extension will cater for all, future or proposed expansion of Google in the area and consider that future office requirements can be satisfactorily catered for by the existing and proposed office developments in the immediate area of the existing offices," wrote planner Jenny Kelly.

Carroll, who has been selling off stakes he held in a number of companies, has been told by the appeals board that the proposed extension "would seriously injure the residential and visual amenities of the area, would depreciate the value of properties in the vicinity and would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area."

A report by Reid Associates for Carroll had claimed that Google was looking to double its workforce to 3,000 employees. However, Google did not supply any documentation supporting that claim.

It is understood Google had not requested the extension.

Labour councillor Kevin Humphreys welcomed the decision and said he had been surprised that Dublin City Council had originally given it the go-ahead.

"This is not a case of trying to stop development or jobs, this is a case of inappropriate development in the wrong location," he said.

Sunday Tribune

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