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Thursday 21 November 2019

Apartment blocks put on hold over fears they'll spoil view at Gravity Bar

The Gravity Bar at the Storehouse gets 1.8 million visitors a year. Photo: Enda Cavanagh Photography
The Gravity Bar at the Storehouse gets 1.8 million visitors a year. Photo: Enda Cavanagh Photography

Dublin City Council has put on hold plans for a large-scale apartment development - partly due to concerns it will compromise views from the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse.

Patrick Crean's Marlet Property Group has lodged plans for 550 apartments in five blocks.

Towers near the Guinness brewery would also house shops, restaurants, medical facilities and a creche.

But the council put the plan on hold after Eoghan O'Mara Walsh, chief executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Federation (ITIF), said the proposal would "compromise the visitor experience and views from the Gravity Bar". He said the Storehouse was Ireland's most popular attraction, with 1.8 million visitors a year.

Highlight

"The highlight of the Storehouse visit is the largely unimpeded 360-degree view," he added.

Consultants for Guinness owner Diageo also told the council a €20m extension to the bar was due to open in January.

The consultants, the RPS Group, said: "Key to the continued success of the Storehouse are the views from the Gravity Bar, where the tour finishes.

"Diageo are keen to ensure the proposed developments are cognisant of the impact the development may have on these views."

The council has requested Marlet Group subsidiary Atlas GP to submit revised plans to address the issue.

It also asked for 3D diagrams to clearly indicate the heights and proximity of all new blocks.

The authority has also requested Atlas to indicate the key heights of Guinness Storehouse and Gravity Bar in a contextual cross-section with particular emphasis on the development's 13-storey tower.

However, the impact of the proposed development on the views from the Gravity Bar is unlikely to have a material impact on the scale of the development.

This follows the council planner's report saying the concerns raised in the objections were noted but stated: "The views from the Gravity Bar are not protected and therefore any proposal which will be within the line of vision from this location should be considered on its own merits."

The report said while the Liberties Local Area Plan referred to views from the Gravity Bar and the need to maintain and protect its key views, it was not considered the views to the west/southwest from the Gravity Bar were "key views".

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