High-rise plans for Dublin’s Docklands

Sir, – Ronan Group Real Estate agrees with the point encapsulated in the headline to the column by Senator Michael McDowell ("Citizens should decide height of Dublin skyline, not Johnny Ronan", Opinion & Analysis, March 10th).

It is precisely the absence of leadership from both central government and local authorities such as Dublin City Council (DCC) that has led to a situation where it is initiatives from developers which are shaping the discourse.

Senator McDowell refers to the “axis of paralysis” which exists between local government and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and that it has resulted in a catastrophic under-provision of housing.

Ronan Group experienced this first-hand when DCC brought judicial review proceedings, twice, against strategic housing development (SHD) consents issued by An Bord Pleanála. SHD is a legislative measure introduced specifically to accelerate the provision of housing, and yet we recently had the unedifying spectacle of one State body taking another (both under Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage jurisdiction and both spending taxpayer funds) to court to prevent the delivery in Docklands of 135 units, of which 14 were to be social and affordable.

Unelected officials from DCC are making decisions which will affect the livelihood and quality of life of everyone in this city, without any oversight or accountability from those directly affected.

Yes, Ronan Group has an interest in some of these decisions, as we try to play a part in developing Dublin, and its Docklands in particular, into a leading European capital city with a global role, attracting the best talent to work in world-leading companies in the industries of the future such as the digital economy.

Our vision for the city is strengthened by Red C polls which show that a majority of people (and young adults overwhelmingly) are in favour of height in appropriate locations.

This contrasts with DCC’s apparent vision and ambition for Dublin as no more than the equivalent of a provincial British city. Where is the democracy in that? – Yours, etc,

RORY WILLIAMS ,

Chief Executive,

Ronan Group Real Estate,

Dublin 4.

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