An Taisce appeal puts brakes on Marlet’s 21-storey tower at Apollo House site

Pat Crean’s Marlet wants to raise the height of its planned office block by 10 storeys

The additional residential tower at College Square would comprise of 54 build-to-rent apartments

The additional residential tower at College Square would comprise of 54 build-to-rent apartments

 

Plans by Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group to increase the height of an 11-storey office block it is delivering on the site of the former Apollo House in Dublin 2 to 21 storeys have been put on hold.

An Taisce and a local resident, Mark Conan, have appealed the Dublin City Council decision to to grant planning permission for the additional 10-storey residential tower to An Bord Pleanála.

The residential tower comprises of 54 build-to-rent apartments, and would see the combined height of the amended College Square development rising to 78.95m (259ft).

In its appeal Kevin Duff of the City Association of An Taisce has told Bord Pleanála that were the building to be permitted, “Dublin would be headed toward an incoherent Manchester- or Brussels-type city centre with modern high-rise towers randomly inserted into the historic urban structure and looming up behind old streets and buildings”. 

Mr Duff notes that the proposal’s location is very close to Trinity College, College Green and the city centre’s historic core, and that it comes in addition to the recently permitted 22-storey building nearby at Tara Street that is being planned by Johnny Ronan.

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An Taisce claims that the proposal does not protect the major cultural inheritance of College Green or the historic Trinity College campus enclosure.

The appeal states: “On account of their outstanding quality and importance these areas need to be treated to the highest international standards in respect of conservation of the historic urban landscape character and setting.” 

The appeal argues that the proposal is in conflict with the provision of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-22, which generally seeks to protect the historic city centre.

Upgrading

However, the city council planner’s report, which recommended planning permission be granted, concluded that “the proposed development will add to the upgrading of one of the most prominent locations in the city”.

The report also stated that “the development provides apartments, which will add to the quality and quantity of the housing stock in the area, and will provide a valuable asset for both established and new communities”.

The report concluded that the plan would not have a significant and negative impact on a number of important views and vistas in the city, and on balance it was unlikely to have any greater visual impact on the skyline than the permitted Ronan 22-storey tower.

Architects for the scheme, Henry J Lyons, state that the slender and elegant 10-storey residential tower is designed to generate a strong visual identity and architectural presence.

A decision is due on the appeal in May.