An Bord Pleanala has given the green light to contentious plans for a nine-storey office block in Dublin City centre.
The appeals board has granted planning permission to Bashview to demolish a six-storey multi-storey car park at Moira House on Dublin’s Trinity Street and Andrew's Lane off Dame Street.
In its place, Bashview is to construct a nine-storey over basement office development with a restaurant at ground floor level.
The appeals board granted permission, despite appeals lodged against the City Council decision by former Environment Editor of The Irish Times, Frank McDonald, and An Taisce.
The board inspector in the case, Jane Dennehy, recommended that planning permission be granted but that the block be reduced by two storeys.
However, this was rejected by the board which granted planning permission for the nine storeys.
The appeals board found that the proposed scheme would not seriously injure the visual amenities of the area or views towards the established historic and sensitive architectural character of the built environment.
The board stated that a grant of permission would materially contravene the City Development Plan in terms of height, but stated that this was justified.
In response to the ruling, Mr McDonald said on Tuesday that he is “appalled” by the decision.
Mr McDonald said the recommendation to reduce the block by two storeys would have made the scheme “a little bit more palatable”.
Commentating on changes to Dublin over the past 40 years, Mr McDonald said: “I really am in deep despair for the future of Dublin and I have never been more depressed about the city as I am now because of decisions like this by An Bord Pleanala. We are in danger of losing the city that we know.”
In his appeal, Mr McDonald told the appeals board that “there is no justification for this massive office block proposed”.
Mr McDonald told the appeals board that “it is plain as a pike-staff that the modest scale of Trinity Street and Dame Lane would be totally overwhelmed by this development".
Kevin Duff of the Dublin Association of An Taisce told the appeals board that the proposal “would constitute serious overdevelopment of a constrained city centre site”.
In response to the appeals, Bashview told the appeals board that the development is a direct response to increasing demand for high quality commercial space in the city and the scheme is suitable for a HQ for a multi-national company
Bashview stated that the claim of overdevelopment of the site is rejected.