An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for two high-rise schemes in Dublin’s Digital Hub in the Liberties, saying that they would “seriously injure the residential amenities of the area”. Manor Park Homes and P. Elliott and Co had both acquired sites previously owned by the State on either side of Thomas Street. The deals, involving the transfer of more than five acres of land in November 2005, netted €118 million for the Government. But Manor Park was refused permission by Dublin City Council for a “mini-Manhattan” scheme on the south side of Thomas Street. It would have included a cluster of high-rise buildings of up to 53 storeys, flanked by lower buildings on the street frontage. Upholding the council’s decision, An Bord Pleanála noted that the 2.5-acre site was “located in the historic core of Dublin city and fronts on to . . . one of the city’s oldest streets”, which is also designated a conservation area in the current Dublin City Development Plan. The board also referred to the council’s policy of protecting the skyline of the inner city, in line with the criteria regarding building heights set out in the 2000 study by London-based urban designers DEGW, which put forward a strategy for building heights in the city.
The Irish Times