Plan for vertical extension to Docklands office block put on hold

Denis O’Brien associated company had sought permission to add five floors

The Malthouse, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin.

The Malthouse, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin.

 

Plans by a company associated with businessman, Denis O’Brien to construct a five floor vertical extension to an office block in Dublin’s Docklands have been put on hold.

This follows Dublin City Council telling Jepview Ltd that the planned five floor vertical extension to make Malt House South a nine storey building on Grand Canal Quay “may be excessive and could potentially have an adverse visual impact”.

In a request for revised plans from Jepview, the council has stated that the

planned increase in floors at the building “could be overly dominant and would not sit comfortably above the existing protected structure”.

The council has asked Jepview Ltd to reconsider the scale and mass of the proposed development by the omission of at least one of the proposed floors.

The council state that “a reduction in the scale of the development would likely ensure the proposed upper floor extension is more mannerly in terms of the proportion of old and new on site and as a result will sit more comfortably from the perspectives of visual amenity and best conservation practice”.

The planning authority has also requested Jepview to respond to concerns expressed by Irish Rail over the plan.

In a letter to the council, Irish Rail said that they did not believe “that the building can be constructed without oversailing railway property”.

“In this regard, it should be noted that the freehold of the property under the railway bridge which is shown as being in the developer’s ownership is actually held by CIÉ. The developer’s interest is leasehold only.”

The broader Malt House building was built in 1886 by Guinness as a barley store or malt house – the property was extensively redeveloped/subdivided in the mid 1990s and all that remains of the original fabric are the external masonry walls.

On behalf of Jepview, planning consultant, Kevin Hughes told the council that the contemporary design of the building “is deliberately different from the historic structure and will enhance the protected structure below it”.

Mr Hughes also said that “the redevelopment of the site will also ensure the continued use of the historic structure”.

Mr Hughes also stated that the proposed increase in height was considered appropriate due to the character of the surrounding area, which is defined by taller contemporary buildings as well as older buildings.