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Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Council welcomes approval of new planning scheme for Grand Canal Dock

The Lord Mayor said that there is an “urgent need” for offices in the city centre.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL says that the regeneration of the capital’s docklands area is about people – not just economic development.

Today, it welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s approval of the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme, which it said will facilitate fast-track planning for the Docklands Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).

This zone “is of significant economic and social importance to the city and state, keeping the focus on the social and economic regeneration of the Docklands”, said the council.

But it recognises it is about more than that, so it will actively pursue a community and social development agenda. It will also “seek to ensure that the Docklands area continues to develop as an exemplary model of good neighbourhoods and successful place making”.

Need for new offices

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn said that there is an urgent need for new offices in the city centre.

“The Docklands area is highly attractive to international investors so the approval of the planning scheme should now lead to construction of new commercial developments,” he said.

The plan also prioritises residential development and the SDZ scheme provides for 50 per cent of the new development to be residential.

However, the Lord Mayor also warned that many of the sites are controlled by NAMA appointed receivers. He said that he welcomes the indications from NAMA that they will “play a pro-active role in entering joint ventures and releasing sites for development”.

But he added that it is key “that the government proceeds to legislate for the vacant sites levy recommended by my taskforce” to discourage short-term investors from ‘flipping’ sites.


The remaining sites available for development in the North Lotts and Grand Canal Schemes equate to circa 22 Hectares, an area roughly equivalent in scale to the entire Custom House Docks / IFSC Area.

Under the SDZ, the floorspace to be delivered amounts to almost 2,600 residential units and almost 305,000 – 366,000 square metres of commercial floorspace. “This potential would deliver an additional residential population of almost 5,800 and employment of almost 23,000 people,” said the council.

The planning scheme for the Docklands SDZ aims to create “a vibrant living urban quarter and an economic cluster, capable of competing on an international level”.

The docklands area has the potential to support real economic recovery and provide for a critical mass of development, to foster investment and innovation and sustain the growth of key sectors, such as financial services and the services economy.

According to the council, the planning scheme provides a clear blueprint for development with a certainty of outcome for applicants.

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