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Dublin’s tallest tower sparks conservation row

Words: Roger Milne
Dublin / iStock

The go-ahead for the country’s tallest building in the heart of Dublin has been branded a ‘catastrophic error’ that could scupper the capital’s chance of World Heritage Site status for its historic core.

That’s the reaction of An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, to the news that An Bord Pleanála has approve plans for a 22-storey tower at Tara Street opposite Dublin’s Custom House.

The conservation body said the planning agency’s decision, after two years of wrangling with the flamboyant developer Johnny Ronan, had undone decades of planning control in Dublin “which will irrevocably damage the city's irreplaceable character”.

An Taisce argued that strict height controls had maintained Dublin’s status as one of Europe's low-rise major historic cities.

“This is now lost. The city already has a highly defined identity of historic streets and squares, rivers and canals, grand public buildings and churches, plus its rich literary and artistic associations.

“The permitted 22-storey tower will constitute a massive intrusion on the established character of the city centre, having an enormous and adverse impact on a number of important conservation areas including Trinity College, the Liffey Quays, College Green and O'Connell Street.”

Ronan’s high-rise building will comprise 16,557 square metres of office and hotel accommodation, housing 890 office workers, a 106-bedroom hotel over four storeys and a top-floor restaurant.

Image credit | iStock