Irish Life is to press ahead with a new €20m six-storey office block on a landmark St Stephen’s Green site in Dublin.
This follows the Dublin offices of international legal firm, Maples & Calder withdrawing its appeal at An Bord Pleanála against the decision of Dublin City Council to give the plan the go-ahead.
The plan involves Irish Life demolishing its existing office block at Hainault House, which consultants for Irish Life describe as “no longer fit for purpose”.
In its place, Irish Life has been given the go-ahead for a much larger office block which had sparked Maples and Calder to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanála.
Maples & Calder occupy three floors on the adjoining office block and consultants for the firm argued that the work undertaken by the legal firm “is highly sensitive and confidential”.
The consultants state that Maples & Calder “have significant concerns about the scale and proximity of the proposed development”.
However, a spokeswoman for Irish Life said yesterday: “Following further engagement with Maples & Calder Irish Life was able to provide the necessary reassurances in relation to concerns regarding the building construction, thus allowing the withdrawal of the appeal.
“Irish Life now intends to refocus its efforts on delivering the completed Hainault House building. Once construction commences it will take between 18 and 24 months to complete.
She added: “Irish Life believes that the distinctive stone and glazed façade of the new building will complement the different styles of its neighbours and will deliver a fitting building for this prestigious St Stephen’s Green address.”
In the withdrawn appeal, consultants for the legal firm had stated that the Irish Life plan would “materially increase intrusive overlooking of the Maples & Calder offices, thereby raising the potential for breaches of confidentiality”.
The appeal, prepared by Arc Architectural Consultants Ltd, said that the Irish Life plan proposes to double the scale of development on the site.
The consultants stated that the development, which will increase the height of the building from 24.75m to 26.4m, would constitute over-development of a site in Georgian Conservation Area and designated Conservation Area.
The Dublin City Council planner’s report in the case stated that the comprehensive redevelopment of the office block is considered acceptable and that the density of development would not unduly materially detract from the amenities of either adjoining properties or the character of the area.
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