Planning appeal hearing opens into plan for INBS site in Dublin

Residents object to redevelopment of former Carrolls cigarette plant adjacent to heritage area

The former Irish Nationwide premises and headquarters of the cigarette manufacturer Carroll’ls on Grand Parade in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The former Irish Nationwide premises and headquarters of the cigarette manufacturer Carroll’ls on Grand Parade in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The proposed redevelopment of the old Carroll’s building at Grand Parade in Dublin will not prejudice the delivery of the preferred MetroLink route and it will enhance the amenity value of the area, a planning appeal hearing has heard.

An Bord Pleanála has begun an appeal hearing by a number of third parties against the proposal by Grand Parade Property Trading Company to redevelop the building, which is also the former headquarters of Irish Nationwide Building Society, for office use with a restaurant at ground level.

Submissions were made on Thursday on behalf of a number of residents of nearby Dartmouth Square, a protected architectural conservation area, who are opposed to the development.

The building is on Dublin City Council’s list of protected structures. It was purpose built to house PJ Carroll cigarette company marketing headquarters and packaging facility and was opened by Seán Lemass in July 1964. It was renovated in 1995 for use by the building society and is currently vacant.

Consulting engineer Jim Lawler of DBFLConsulting Engineers, for the applicants, told the hearing that when the planning application was lodged with the council on March 2nd 2017, the design team and applicant were unaware of a proposal to locate a possible Metro/Luas interchange in the vicinity of the No. 2 Grand Parade site.

Modifications

On April 28th 2017, Dublin City Council made a request for further information in relation to the application and this included a requirement to liaise with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority (NTA), Mr Lawler said.

The plans were ultimately revised in order to facilitate the possible future construction of an underground metro line and station beneath the proposed building. Mr Lawler said the extent of the modifications had been determined through “extensive consultations” with both transport authorities and were acceptable to them. A number of conditions in relation to the development were stipulated by TII and NTA at Thursday’s hearing.

Planning consultant John Spain said it was clear that the proposed development, as amended, would “not prejudice the delivery of the preferred MetroLink alignment and connection with the Luas Green line at this location, should this alignment be brought forward.”

Helena Kelly, who lives on Dartmouth Square West, told the hearing that with three young children, having a garden “is like having an extra room in our house every day of the week”.

She said she felt “sick to her stomach” at the thoughts of a glazed office block looking over the garden just 30 metres from her kitchen door and said the height of the office block would result in an invasion of privacy to her home as a result of “extreme overlooking”.

Conservation architect James Kelly for local resident Elizabeth Vandenberghe of Dartmouth Square West, told the hearing he believed the development would have a “considerable impact” on the surrounding architectural conservation area and on the protected structures.

Expert witnesses for the applicant told the hearing the glazing in the building was not safe and this had necessitated the installation of a guard rail inside the windows to protect the glass and to stop people from falling out. A pane had fallen from the rear of the building during Storm Ophelia last year.

Emer Uí Fhátharta, senior executive planner with Dublin City Council said that following a “thorough assessment” of the application, it was the opinion of the planning authority that the proposed development, on balance, met and supported the stated objectives of the city development plan and other plans and programmes.

The hearing continues on Friday.