Sunday, 1 February 2009

Grehan plan still alive as Dunne's Dublin 4 tower fails

An Bord Pleanála has sought further information from Ray Grehan's Glenkerrin Group on its plans for the €171m Ballsbridge site it owns next to Sean Dunne's Jurys Berkeley Court site, which was refused planning permission last week.

In a decision similar to that for Arnotts' Northern Quarter scheme, the board is believed to have imposed a number of restrictions on Grehan's plans which will provide for an average height of about nine storeys.

Grehan's company Kintene has sought planning for 109 residential units, office, retail, cafe, and cultural facilities in buildings of up to 15 storeys on the site of the former veterinary college, which is currently used as a car park. A decision is unlikely to be made on the application until much later this year.

Sean Dunne's application for the Jurys Berkeley Court site was roundly rejected by the board last week.

The board used significantly stronger language than that used by the planner who recommended the application be refused.

The inspector said that the scheme is "not without merit" but that the "scale, mass, bulk and height of the scheme is excessive". He said the 37-storey tower was "of quality design" and that "the creation of new streets and plazas, and the mix of uses, are all to be welcomed". He recommended rejection on the grounds that the proposal represented "over-development and over-intensification of use on the site" and that the quantum of retail and offices proposed "would materially contravene" the land zoning.

By contrast, the board said the proposal "would constitute gross over-development and over-intensification", would "injure the amenities of the area", contained "excessive" retail proposals and contravenes the site's zoning through the offices proposal.

It also said it was "not satisfied" that the proposed development "would bring about a high-quality environment for future occupants" and was therefore contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Dunne has spent €15m on professional fees in relation to the proposed development. He said he will submit a new application that takes into account the fact that the site is predominantly zoned for residential use.

Dunne bought the seven-acre Jurys Berkeley Court site for just under €380m but land values have fallen significantly since then. In the same area, he also owns land at AIB Bankcentre and Hume House.

Other assets include the Donnybrook Mall; land in Greystones, Co Wicklow; and sites in the north and south docklands of Dublin.

Sunday Tribune

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