Ronan’s 45-storey tower should be given green light, business group says

An Taisce describes scheme as ‘overblown’ and unlikely to help with housing crisis

Labelling Johnny Ronan’s 40-plus-storey tower scheme for Dublin’s docklands as a “Manhattan-style project” is extraordinarily ill-formed, a business forum has said.

The Docklands Business Forum made one of the 32 submissions to An Bord Pleanála over the proposed Waterfront South Central scheme of 1,005 apartments.

In the submission, the forum's chief executive, Alan Robinson, said the scheme would be only half the height of the Shard, London's tallest building, and would not even make the list for London's top 10 structures.

Mr Robinson told the appeals board that Mr Ronan’s planned 45- and 44-storey tower scheme “is modest in height” and should be given the green light.


The forum has claimed that the height of the Ronan project is “puny” when compared with heights of Manhattan skyscrapers.

The Docklands Business Forum counts representatives from Google, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Accenture, Deloitte and Clayton Hotels on its steering committee.

Outlining the need for the scheme, Mr Robinson told An Bord Pleanála that the city council has granted planning permission for office accommodation for 26,000 workers in the docklands, but only living accommodation for 8,000 in the area.

Mr Robinson stated that there is an unprecedented accommodation crisis in Dublin and the docklands and a “significant contributory factor to this disaster is the lack of apartments for the dockland’s young workforce”.

‘Hugely overblown’

However, Kevin Duff of An Taisce has described the the proposed scheme as "hugely overblown".

Mr Duff has told the appeals board that the impulse to construct two 40-plus-storey towers “simply because Dublin does not have such buildings or because it does not look ‘international’ without them is ludicrous and is insupportable environmentally”.

Mr Duff stated that the type of housing proposed in the scheme “is rarely affordable and most likely to end up as corporate letting, with little or no contribution to the housing supply or the housing crisis”. A decision is due on the application in May.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times