Friday 13 December 2019

Green light for new €75m Central Bank plan with rooftop restaurant

Former Central Bank building set for a €75m redevelopment
Former Central Bank building set for a €75m redevelopment

Ambitious €75m redevelopment plans for the Central Bank building featuring a rooftop restaurant have been given the green light.

The decision follows An Bord Pleanala dismissing the appeal by one Temple Bar resident against Dublin City Council granting planning permission to the development on Dame Street.

The redevelopment will host more than 1,000 workers in 12,000 square metres of offices, as well as shops in the adjoining buildings.

The city council gave the project the go-ahead last October after its planner stated that the 360-degree, 300-seat rooftop restaurant and bar "will provide unique and unrivalled views of the city and is likely to be a major future tourist attraction".

However, local man Vincent Howard was not happy with the "unrivalled views" and complained that if the redevelopment went ahead "any privacy I currently enjoy is gone".

His concern was the proposed viewing terrace. He said the purpose of a viewing terrace was to encourage people to look out over rooftops and take photos.

"My roof garden is just 50 metres from the Central Bank building," he said. "I am not happy at the prospect of having people looking in and taking photos, day and night, of what is currently - outside office hours - a private space."


Mr Howard lives on Fownes Street Upper in Temple Bar and says the private garden was one of the main reasons he bought the apartment.

"I have spent a lot of time and money to make this garden a nice place to be," he said.

Mr Howard argued that "my lifestyle would be adversely affected by these changes".

"Doubtless, the resale value of my property will also fall due to this loss of privacy," he said.

"There are likely to be other residents similarly affected, but I cannot speak for them - my objection on these grounds is in regards to my own unique situation, and absolutely selfish, and I acknowledge this, but I do think that people's privacy should be respected."

The appeals board found the proposal would not seriously injure the amenities or property in the area, having regard to a zoning objective of the City Development Plan "which seeks to consolidate and facilitate the development of the area".

The board made the decision after senior planning ins- pector Paul Caprani said: "While some level of overlooking of Mr Howard's garden will inevitably occur, I consider that the impact on one private individual's visual amenity must be balanced against the wider benefits economically, culturally and in urban design terms which the proposed development will bring to the city centre.

"Furthermore, the viewing platform will be located 67 metres from the appellant's roof garden which will, in my view, to some extent, maintain the appellant's privacy."

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