Call to allow higher buildings in Dublin’s docklands from business leaders

Dublin Chamber of Commerce says council’s new height limits ‘lack ambition’

Architect’s impression of the Ronan Group’s planned development at Tara Street and the quays in Dublin.

Architect’s impression of the Ronan Group’s planned development at Tara Street and the quays in Dublin.


Plans to increase allowed building heights in Dublin’s docklands do not go far enough, the city council has been warned.

In a submission on the proposed increases in the docklands, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said the new height limits “are largely superficial and lack ambition”.

Earlier this year the council proposed to An Bord Pleanála new and adjusted heights within a revised development plan for the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock district. One residential tower of up to 25 storeys was proposed, along with increased heights for seven of the 20 city blocks that compose the strategic development zone.

In its submission, Dublin Chamber said it is broadly supportive of the provision for increased height ins the North Lotts and Grand Canal areas. “The chamber however believes the proposed amendments in increase in height and density are largely superficial and lack ambition.”

Revised rules around building heights introduced by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy last year allow planners to decide on individual applications for buildings that may be higher than is allowed in a local authority’s development plan. However, they do not apply in SDZs, where building heights must be adjusted in revised plans, as is the case in the Docklands.

The chamber argues that even under the revised plan put forward by the city council, building heights are “considerably lower than those on lands in the immediate vicinity of the SDZ area, such as the current building of the 17-storey EXO building and the recent approval of the 22-storey Tara Street tower”. Last week, planners approved an additional floor for the Tara Street tower, bringing it to 23 storeys.

“As this area has been designated an area of strategic national importance it (is) unusual for the council to put measures in place that have the potential to harm or hinder the potential development opportunities,” the submission states.

Under the council’s plans, heights will be increased by up to six storeys in some areas, with buildings of between 12 and 15 storeys permitted as local landmarks. The 25 storey tower will be the only permitted building of such a size in the North Docklands, with city planners envisaging it will act as a mirror image to the already-constructed Capital Docks in the south docklands. DCC hope the pair of towers will create a “gateway” to the city at the mouth of the Liffey.