Ronan’s plan for Citigroup office draws objections from Clarion Quay apartment owners

Docklands project would have ‘brutal and disproportionate impact’ on human scale of local residential environment

Johnny Ronan’s planned 17-storey, mixed-use scheme for Dublin’s docklands “will have a brutal and disproportionate impact on the local residential environment” according to an objection by a management company acting on behalf of 186 apartment owners at Clarion Quay in Dublin 1.

Mr Ronan’s Ronan Real Estate Group’s (RGRE) planning application is part of a redevelopment of Citigroup’s current European headquarters at 1 North Wall Quay.

The scheme involves the demolition of the existing six-storey office building and the development of four buildings in its place, ranging in height from nine to 17 storeys.

The RGRE firm, NWQ Devco Limited, is seeking a 10-year planning permission and in a report lodged with the application, planning consultant John Spain said that the new development “proposes to positively transform this waterfront location of the established city block with an exemplar design which is informed and responds to its riverfront context”.


Mr Spain further contended that “the design seeks to provide a significant gain to the urban area in terms of design quality, streetscape vibrancy and activation, social and cultural interests and the creation of best-in-class contemporary workplace”.

However, in the apartment owners’ objection, planning consultant John Bird argued that a grant of permission would have a chilling effect on the future provision of much-needed housing in the city.

On behalf of the Clarion Quay Management Company (CQMC), Mr Bird said: “A precedent would be set so that no resident of the city would feel that their residential amenity would be respected and that no protection would be given to transitional areas.”

He said that his clients are concerned the proposal with its inevitable overlooking and overshadowing arising “would seriously affect the residential amenity and the enjoyment of the residences and shared spaces”.

Mr Bird also said that “the proposed development would have a brutal and disproportionate impact on the local residential environment, the concept of city living, the 15-minute city objective and the entire concept of a city and city region of human scale”.

As part of the same submission, the secretary of the Clarion Quay Management Company, David Ward, told the council that “we have to say we are shocked by the proposal in its size, scale, but really in the way it has not considered the presence of Clarion Quay and the 300-400 residents”.

Calling on Dublin City Council to reject the proposal, Mr Ward said that “the ambition for this site is in our view woefully out of balance with its location, context and time”.

A spokesman for RGRE declined to comment on the contents of the objection lodged on behalf of the management company.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times