Council raises ‘concerns’ about elements of Ballymore’s plan for Guinness Quarter

Ballymore lodged plans to develop a 12.5 acre site that forms part of Diageo’s St James’s Gate brewing campus

Dublin City Council has expressed concerns over aspects of Ballymore’s planned redevelopment for the iconic Guinness Quarter in Dublin.

In July, property group Ballymore lodged plans to develop a 12.5 acre site that forms part of Diageo’s St James’s Gate brewing campus in Dublin 8.

The Guinness Quarter is to include 336 housing units, a hotel, a 300-seat performance space, a food hall and marketplace, commercial works spaces and more than two acres of landscaped public spaces.

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Now, the developer is to lodge revised plans for aspects of its application after the city council has sought a raft of additional information on the scheme.

In its letter to the applicants, the council has stated that it has “concerns regarding the visual impact of the development”.

The council stated: “In particular the massing, scale and elevational treatment of the proposed residential tower in block two and its potential negative impact on the amenities and the character of the immediate area in general.”

The planning authority said “the proposal falls short of the opportunity presented to create a building of exceptional design quality in response to the site’s unique and highly visible setting in this historic area of the city”.

The council has also stated it has concerns relating to the impact of the proposed ‘’Portland Terrace office building’' would have on the existing Guinness Storehouse, a protected structure, due to the significant scale, and proximity of the proposed new building to the storehouse.

The council has asked Ballymore to reconsider the scale and proximity of this part of the project with the Storehouse.

The council has also told Ballymore that its conservation officer “has serious concerns regarding the proposed interventions at block four and five, in particular the height of the proposed new hotel in block five″.

Ballymore, however, will be encouraged by the overall comments on the scheme in the 99-page council planner’s report.

The report states that “the design of the proposed development, overall it is considered to be of a high quality, and responds to the significant historic, cultural heritage and built heritage assets on the site”.

The report adds: “In addition, it has to be acknowledged that the proposed development will significantly regenerate an underutilised site within the inner city, in close proximity to public transport connections and the proposal will deliver a number of the core objectives of the Dublin City Development Plan.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times