Rhatigan gets go-ahead for €90m office after meeting Chief State Solicitor concerns

Revised plan includes extra measures such as opaque glazing

The revised plans reduced the scale of the office block and included additional measures to protect the privacy of the Chief State Solicitor’s office. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The revised plans reduced the scale of the office block and included additional measures to protect the privacy of the Chief State Solicitor’s office. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The head of building firm JJ Rhatigan has said he would like to think he has allayed concerns raised by the Chief State Solicitor and the Chester Beatty Library over his firm’s planned €90 million development in Dublin city centre.

Padraic Rhatigan was speaking after Dublin City Council gave the green light for his Luxor Investments Ltd’s revised seven-storey office block plan for Ship Street Great, Dublin 8.

Last month, Luxor Investments Ltd lodged revised plans for the development in response to security concerns by the Chief State Solicitor that the proposal could compromise top secret papers in her office.

The revised plans reduced the scale of the office block and included additional measures to protect the privacy of the Chief State Solicitor’s office.

This included a proposal by Luxor to have opaque glazing in the windows on the second, third and fourth floors facing onto the Chief Solicitor’s office “to avoid any potential for the proposed building’s occupants to overlook the Chief State Solicitor’s Office”.

In response to the original plan, the Chief State Solicitor, Maria Browne, expressed concerns over the new office block overlooking her offices.

Ms Browne told the city Council: “This office has particular security requirements given the sensitive nature of the work carried out for and behalf of Government.”

Top secret papers

She pointed out: “The nature of the documentation handled and processed in this office is of national importance and can extend to top secret papers, which if compromised from a private/security aspect could be problematic.”

The nearby Chester Beatty Library also objected to the original plan.

The Chief State Solicitor’s Office lies to the north of the proposed development area while Luxor’s Radisson Blu Hotel on Golden Lane bounds the office plan to the south.

Mr Rhatigan described the Chief State Solicitor and the Chester Beatty Library as “key occupants” in the area.

“We respect their position and we made some adjustments to the plan in response to what they had to say”.

Mr Rhatigan said he hopes to commence construction work on the scheme “as soon as possible” and that the build should take two years.

Mr Rhatigan said some 240 to 250 workers will be employed in building the scheme, adding that the JJ Rhatigan group directly employs 500 at the moment. It is working on up to 20 sites across the country, he said.

“Our order book is strong. We are in a good space generally. We see that the confidence that has been there in the Greater Dublin area is now also in the regions.”