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Site Progress photo, January 2019, from the North of City Block 2 looking South. Henry J Lyons Architects

Johnny Ronan re-submits application for Docklands apartment blocks following High Court decision

Dublin City Council had taken a judicial review in its first legal challenge to a planning permission grant by An Bord Pleanála.

DEVELOPER JOHNNY RONAN’S company Spencer Place Development has re-submitted an application to build two apartment blocks in Dublin’s Docklands.

The submission to An Bord Pleanála follows a High Court decision last week to overturn previous permission given by the planning authority to increase the height of two apartment blocks in Dublin’s Docklands.

The judicial review had been taken by Dublin City Council, in what was the local authority’s first legal challenge to a planning permission grant by An Bord Pleanála. 

Last December, the board granted Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) permission for 548 apartments and co-living units in blocks of up to 13 storeys, against the recommendation of its inspector.

Ronan’s company re-submitted its application  for the same number of apartments and co-living units last Friday, the day after the High Court ruled against An Bord Pleanála’s decision.

The site is in one of the city’s six Strategic Development Zones (SDZs) in which heights are set at five to seven storeys.

Dublin City Council initiated judicial review proceedings in January, challenging the board’s decision. 

It argued the SDZ only allowed for building heights of up to ten storeys. 

The council, meanwhile, has requested that An Bord Pleanála amend the SDZ to allow for heights on the site up to 12 storeys. 

In a report submitted to An Bord Pleanála, its inspector said Ronan’s application was “premature” pending the outcome of that decision. 

In a statement, Dublin City Council said: “The City Council was reluctant to seek a Judicial Review of this case. 

“However, the SDZ Planning Scheme is a democratically made plan and it is essential to ensure that the integrity of the planning process is maintained,” a spokesperson said. 

“The City Council fully supports taller buildings in the right location,” they added.

“It is also important to note that the Council is actively working to increase housing supply in the city and in this regard the site in question has a valid Planning Permission for 349 apartments.”

With reporting from Stephen McDermott.

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