High Court quashes permission for Ronan dockland tower

Dublin City Council took judicial review proceedings of Bord Pleanála decision

The High Court has quashed An Bord Pleanála's decision to approve developer Johnny Ronan's 13-storey tower beside Salesforce's Dublin docklands headquarters, in a landmark decision for the planning system.

Dublin City Council had taken judicial review proceedings in what was its first legal challenge to a grant of planning permission by the board.

Mr Ronan has described the outcome as “perverse”, but the council said it took the action to preserve the integrity of the planning process.

The board last December granted Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) permission for almost 550 apartments and co-living units in blocks up to 13 storeys, against the recommendation of its inspector.


The site is in a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), with heights set at five to seven storeys. The council has applied to the board to amend the SDZ, which would increase height on the site to 12 storeys. However, the board has yet to make a decision on this application.

The board’s inspector last November said Mr Ronan’s application was “premature” pending the outcome of the SDZ process.

The board on Thursday consented in the High Court to the quashing of its decision, which will now be returned to it for a fresh determination.

RGRE said construction of homes now had to stop. “People have a right to expect better from Dublin City Council, and the planning process,” it said.

City planner John O’Hara said city councillors, the public and landowners developed the SDZ. “The city council was very reluctant to take judicial review proceedings but the SDZ is a democratically made plan and it was essential to ensure the integrity of the plan-making process was maintained.”

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times