Johnny Ronan contests Dublin City Council’s rejection of docklands scheme

Plan evisages 17-storey mixed use development if Citigroup’s current European headquarters

Johnny Ronan’s RGRE is contesting Dublin City Council’s comprehensive rejection of its planned 17-storey, mixed-use scheme for Dublin’s docklands.

Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against last month’s council refusal.

Mr Ronan is seeking permission for the redevelopment of global banking giant Citigroup’s current European headquarters at 1 North Wall Quay.

The scheme involves the demolition of Citigroup’s existing six-storey office building and the development of four buildings in its place, ranging in height of nine to 17 storeys.


As part of the appeal, Mr Ronan’s applicant firm, NWQ Devco Limited, is requesting that An Bord Pleanála stage an oral hearing of the case.

Planning consultants for RGRE, John Spain & Associates, said that an oral hearing in this instance will assist further in the provision “of a comprehensive understanding of the proposed development in the relevant planning context and the potential impacts and benefits of the proposal”.

The proposal includes the 16th floor being used as an interactive gallery housing a permanent exhibition entitled “Liffey Experience” and “will form a significant public gain to the entire city”.

The appeal said that the Liffey Experience space would provide unparalleled views across the city a could become one of the city’s most important visitor centres and tourist attractions.

The applicants are seeking a 10-year planning permission “due to the complexities around the delivery of a building and the current impacts on the supply chain being experienced by the construction industry”.

The raft of documentation lodged as part of the appeal included a three-page legal submission by Arthur Cox LLP.

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The submission said that the application submitted met the criteria for “exceptional circumstances” that would allow planning permission to be granted for a landmark building.

The letter said that it appeared that the city council did not engage in any analysis or consideration of the “exceptional circumstance” and whether such criteria is being met by the proposed development.

The Arthur Cox letter went on to say that any failure on the part of the appeals board to consider the exceptional circumstance test “would amount to a failure to take into account a relevant consideration in the context of the decision-making process.

Architects of the scheme, Henry J Lyons contended that the scheme as submitted was appropriate for the context of the site.

The Lyons submission said, however, that should the appeals board share the concerns of the city council design modifications could be implemented concerning building height and massing; sunlight and daylight impact upon neighbouring properties and overbearing impact upon neighbouring properties.

The architects state that the positive impact of design modifications includes a reduced building height and massing at the eastern end of the application site.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times