An Bord Pleanála has approved the development of a €486 million centralised Dublin Insitute of Technology (DIT) campus at Grangegorman in Dublin.
The blueprint for a new “urban quarter” and campus was approved by Dublin City Council last July but it was subseqently appealed to the planning board by local residents, who raised concerns about the height of some of the buildings among other issues.
Today the board ruled that three proposed buildings of between 12 and 15 storeys high will require separate planning permissions because of their potential impact on the city skyline.
The original plan would have allowed the construction of buildings of up to 50m in height on the 70-acre former psychiatric hospital site between the north city neighbourhoods of Phibsboro, Stoneybatter and Cabra.
In its decision today, the board said it had concluded that the draft planning scheme, with modification, "would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment".
It said that subject to modifications it set out, the planning scheme complied with the statutory requirements set out under the site's designation as a Strategic Development Zone, and provided for the "comprehensive planning and development" of the site.
"The draft planning scheme would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area," it said.
Grangegorman Development Agency chief executive Michael Hand told a planning hearing last year there had been much said in the media about the decision of the Government to postpone funding for the project.
But he said Exchequer funding for the redevelopment would amount to 20 per cent of the development, and he quoted Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn to the effect that the Government "is committed to the long term funding of this project”. He said there were “multiple” avenues of funding which could be tapped to relocate constituent colleges of DIT; establish a range of HSE healthcare facilities on site, and create a new urban quarter.