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July 29, 2008

Arnotts granted planning permission for scaled-down city centre scheme

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Dublin’s proposed “Northern Quarter” retail district has been substantially reduced in scale by An Bord Pleanála’s decision to approve revised plans by Arnotts department store for the €750 million development. Arnotts is believed to have invested at least €100 million in acquiring all of the properties on the 5.5-acre site, which stretches from Henry Street to Middle Abbey Street and from Penneys on O’Connell Street to Liffey Street. As designed by HKR Architects and approved by Dublin City Council’s planners, the scheme was to include a 16-storey tower on the corner of Liffey Street Upper and Middle Abbey Street. This has been reduced to a six-storey building. Last April, the appeals board said in a letter to the developers that the proposed tower would be “unduly obtrusive on the skyline” and would “seriously detract from the balance and architectural coherence of these streets”. The board effectively ordered Arnotts to scale down its overall plans, reducing the height of the buildings to a maximum of seven storeys as well as halving the number of parking spaces sought and dropping plans to redesign the facade of Penneys.

The Irish Times