Contact Us

Ronan Looks To The Skies in North Docklands After Planning Boost

Dublin's north docklands could see taller buildings after a planning breakthrough.

Dublin’s north docklands are set to be redefined by higher buildings after news that developer Johnny Ronan is set to submit a planning application in the coming days for a 17-storey office tower.

It would replace an eight-storey office building at 1 North Wall Quay, currently occupied by U.S. bank Citigroup, and is part of an overall development which would include four buildings ranging in height from nine to 17-storeys, The Sunday Times Ireland has reported.

Dublin City Council had previously lodged an appeal against height increases for two docklands apartment blocks proposed by Ronan, but the Supreme Court refused to entertain that appeal in June 2023, paving the way for the office tower proposals. 

Confirmation of the refusal by the Supreme Court on 9 Feb. to allow the council to appeal further against proposed height increases now clears the way for Ronan to submit his office proposals.

Three Supreme Court judges said that they were not convinced a further appeal is required in the interests of justice, given the local authority has had a full hearing of the case in the High Court and the Court of Appeal and pointed out that the dispute strategic housing provision expired at the end of 2021.

Initially, the proposed apartment buildings within the development were to have seven floors each, but planning authority An Bord Pleanála allowed Spencer Place Development Company to increase these to 11- and 13-storeys respectively as part of a 500-unit residential development.

The local authority responded by bringing legal proceedings on the grounds that An Bord Pleanála had no power to approve these height increases and had contravened the council’s North Lotts/Grand Canal strategic development zone planning scheme.

Lengthy legal disputes have now finally been brought to a close.

In addition, in November 2023, it was reported that planners would consider a 25-storey apartment tower by Ronan’s company after setting new height guidelines for the north Dublin docklands that could clear the way for construction of the city’s tallest building near the former Point Depot.

Ronan has previously argued that building higher is the only way to solve Dublin’s housing shortage, and he applied in 2021 to An Bord Pleanála to build a 45-storey apartment block on the Waterfront South Central site at North Wall Quay but was refused permission.

The proposed residential site is to the west of the 3Arena concert venue in the Point complex, next door to the offices being built for the new Citibank Dublin headquarters.