herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Germans line up with 'the Kaiser' in battle to thwart RTE's revamp

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to give RTE permission to redevelop its Montrose campus has been appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

Dublin City Council had given the broadcaster the go-ahead for the major scheme but a series of appeals have now been lodged.

Businessman Dermot Desmond, the Arts Council and the German embassy are among the appellants.

In a letter, the embassy stated it is the owner of the Danesfield building at Seaview Terrace in Donnybrook, beside the campus.

It raised "security" concerns with the station over its development.

Mr Desmond, referred to in the press as 'the Kaiser', had complained his privacy at his home on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4 would be affected if the project were approved.

He has requested an oral hearing be held by the appeals board into the plans.

RTE's Project 2025 is a 10-year application for permission for a new radio and television centre on the 16-acre Montrose site. The new complex will ultimately replace all of its existing facilities there.

Local councillors accepted the need for the redevelopment to cater for new technology and welcomed the organisation's intention to remain in Donnybrook.

However, some councillors expressed concern about the lack of community gain and the height of the new buildings, one of which will be the equivalent of nine storeys high.

The proposal would also involve building a new entrance on to the N11 Stillorgan dual carriageway.





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The new, more concentrated complex designed by Scott Tallon Walker (STW), architects of the original buildings, will be built in five phases at the northern end of the site.

Rising to an overall height of almost 26m, the complex will taper down to 10.4m (34ft) facing the long rear gardens of houses along Nutley Road and screened by mature trees.

The national broadcaster intends to demolish and rebuild the 60s and 70s broadcasting facilities.

Mr Desmond argued that his Victorian house was a protected structure "and as an adjoining occupier I am entitled to be protected from insensitive and inappropriate development".

One of the proposed buildings is 50 metres from his back garden.

He said he is worried about noise and disruption during construction.

The National Roads Authority (NRA) had argued "parking levies" and a reduction in the number of car spaces should be considered in order to reduce demand for parking at the Donnybrook campus.

A total of 24 submissions were received by the city council.

An Taisce took issue with several aspects of the plan, including the height of the proposed buildings and the fact that only part of the site was included in the designs.

comurphy@herald.ie

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