Sunday, 1 February 2009

Most ambitious project ever seen in city

The 188,102 sqm mixed-use scheme was among the most ambitious ever seen by planners.

The seven-acre site in Ballsbridge was bounded by Pembroke Road, Shelbourne Road, Lansdowne Road and the former Veterinary College site.

The site was to be transformed, with 10 buildings ranging from 10 to 37 storeys, constructed on new streets at an estimated cost of €1bn.

There would be 536 apartments, shops, pubs and restaurants comprising 27,375 sqm, offices of 27,839 sqm, an embassy building of 13,251 sqm and a hotel, media centre, cultural quarter, creche and fitness centre.

Jury's and the Berkerley Court Hotels would be demolished and a new street network created, opening up the site to Pembroke Road, Lansdowne Road and Shelbourne Road.

An internal street would also provide a link with the adjoining former Veterinary College site to the south and onwards to Shelbourne Road.

Block A -- consisting of 37 storeys -- would be 136.3 metres in height, or over twice the height of Liberty Hall and 10 metres taller than the Spire on O'Connell Street.

The smaller buildings were to be 47 metres -- taller than the Ballymun tower blocks.

Some 1,316 car parking spaces would have been provided, and 1,230 bicycle spaces. Sean Dunne described his ambitious project as the future 'Knightsbridge of Dublin'.

However, planning inspector Tom Rabbette, who recommended refusal, said that while aspects of the development were of "considerable architectural merit," there were "significant problems".

Paul melia
Irish Independent

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