THE north inner is set for a massive redevelopment after An Bord Pleanala gave the green light to a planned €700m Northern Quarter shopping area.
The Arnotts plan will keep its signature skywalk, but officials told Arnotts representatives that the proposals would only be allowed if a planned 16-storey tower in the original design was omitted.
The plans were allowed through on Friday evening and made public today after an earlier appeal against the move.
An Bord Pleanala has tagged along 26 separate conditions, including the preservation of several protected buildings in the area.
Other conditions include 24- hour public access to all the proposed new public streets and spaces such as Abbey Square; appropriate childcare facilities; and a limestone arch at the main entrance to the Arnotts building.
In February, a decision was delayed by An Bord Pleanala after what the planning body said was the huge volume of information contained in the plans. The proposal was backed by Dublin City Council but appealed by a number of objectors.
The three-year redevelopment plan comprises 47 new shops, 17 cafes, restaurants and bars around 180 apartments, a four-star hotel and spa and a stunning new central square.
The Northern Quarter, an area bounded by Henry Street, O'Connell Street, Abbey Street and Liffey Street, will be regenerated into a lively new zone.
Buildings involved in the transformation of the eight-acre block include Arnotts, the former Independent Newspapers site on Abbey Street, and Penneys.
Parts of the project will be eight storeys high and will feature a roof garden and restaurant overlooking the city.
In the months before today's announcement, at least eight appeals have been lodged to An Bord Pleanala by various parties, including An Post, An Taisce and the Railway Procurement Agency, after Dublin City Council granted permission last July.
“We believe this project is exactly the kind of ambitious, visionary development the area needs,” Richard Nesbitt, Arnotts' executive chairman, said at the time.
“The Northern Quarter will write the next chapter in the evolving history of Dublin city, retaining the charm of an open-street environment but overlaying it with the dynamism and diversity of a modern European capital,” he insisted.