An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead for a bus depot in Dublin’s docklands despite facing opposition from accounting giant PwC and developer Johnny Ronan.
In the ruling, the appeals board has given the National Transport Authority - NTA - planning permission lasting five years for a coach park at the former North Wall freight depot in Sheriff Street Upper that has the capacity for 50 buses.
Dublin City Council had given its green light for the depot earlier this year on the CIÉ lands, but the plan was put on hold following appeals lodged by Mr Ronan’s RGRE Grafton Ltd and the Spencer Dock Management Ltd, or SDML.
The facility only permits empty private coaches to park to help provide an alternative to kerbside parking in the capital.
At present, there is no dedicated facility to accommodate private coaches accessing Dublin city centre for commuters and tourists.
The coach depot will accommodate up to 100 coaches a day. With 2,000 staff, PwC is a major employer at its Spencer Dock head office close to the proposed bus depot.
A temporary access road at Park Lane is planned.
In an observation lodged with the board by director of infrastructure Tom Neary, PwC says “such a volume of heavy traffic as is proposed by the NTA would greatly impact PwC as a principal occupier and employer of approximately 2,000 people in Spencer Dock”.
Mr Neary says: “The disruption to our employees, clients and service providers will significantly, negatively impact our ability to carry out our business in this area in an effective and safe manner and greatly diminish the general amenity of the surrounding area which our people currently enjoy.”
He also says its observation is “based primarily on the unsuitability of Park Lane and surrounding area to environmentally and sustainably support heavy volumes of coach traffic travelling to and from the proposed coach parking area.”
“The use of Park Lane as an access for large numbers of coaches to a parking area on the railway lands north of Sheriff Street is neither technically or environmentally appropriate,” he says.
Mr Neary says PwC fully supports the appeal by SDML against the council decision and requests the appeals board to refuse permission “for this inappropriate use of Park Lane”.
In its appeal, Mr Ronan’s RGRE Grafton Ltd argues planning permission should be refused also because of the heavy vehicle traffic it would generate in in an area designated for urban regeneration.
RGRE Grafton, which owns a nearby office development, Kilmore House, also contends the council’s decision is contrary to a zoning objective of the Dublin City Development Plan.
The planning officer recommended that planning permission be granted.
The officer said the proposed development would not adversely affect the residential or visual amenities of the area and would not lead to depreciation of property values.
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