An Bord Pleanála has given permission to US property giant, Kennedy Wilson to construct a new office campus at St Stephen’s Green in Dublin that will have the capacity to accommodate 3,000 office workers.
The site at Stokes Place at St Stephen’s Green South and Harcourt Street currently accommodates the Dublin headquarters of KPMG and the new proposal involves the demolition of the existing office complex and the construction of an eight-storey office block.
Plans were first lodged for the scheme in January 2021 and Dublin City Council approved them in September that year despite local opposition.
In allowing the project, the council ordered the omission of one of its floors due to visual impact concerns.
KW Investments Funds ICAV has now been successful in its first-party appeal against the council ordering the removal of the sixth floor.
In its decision, An Bord Pleanála included the sixth floor after its inspector, Stephen Ward, concluded that its removal would not be warranted and would not result in any significant reduction of visual impact or improvement of the proposed design.
The appeals board granted planning permission after concluding that the proposal would constitute an acceptable quantum of development in this accessible urban location, would not seriously injure the amenities of surrounding properties or seriously detract from the character or built heritage of the area.
Davy Target Investments owns neighbouring protected structures at 97-100 St Stephen’s Green and 91 Harcourt Street and appealed against the council’s 2021 decision to grant planning permission for the scheme.
A management company for 18 owners of apartments of the adjacent Russell Court Apartments, Padamul Ltd and Olive English had also appealed.
Mr Ward said the proposed height and scale of development is appropriate at this location and that, on balance, the impacts on surrounding properties are acceptable having regard to the need to achieve wider planning objectives.
Mr Ward also found that while the proposed development is of a height and scale greater than stated council development plan standards, the massing, form and detailing of the proposal has been suitably designed to ensure the proposed development will successfully integrate with the traditional and emerging character of development in the area.