Councillors clear way for ESB block redevelopment

Monday 03 March 2014 21.59
The council meeting heard that the Sam Stephenson building is no longer fit for purpose
The council meeting heard that the Sam Stephenson building is no longer fit for purpose

Dublin city councillors have cleared the way for the redevelopment of the controversial ESB office block built on what was once Dublin's Georgian Mile.

City councillors have dropped their demand for the original Georgian facade to be reinstated.

This will allow the ESB to apply for planning permission for a €100 million redevelopment of the site.

The present office block, designed by architect Sam Stephenson, was built in 1965 after 16 Georgian buildings on the site were demolished.

This provoked a long standing controversy as conservationists complained that the office block broke up the country's longest stretch of 18th century buildings, known as the Georgian Mile.

City councillors had voted to have the original Georgian facade reinstated as part of the new development plan.

But following the submission of a new plan by the ESB for its HQ councillors voted to drop this clause.

The council meeting heard that the Sam Stephenson building is no longer fit for purpose and has an 'F' energy rating.

The ESB said the new building would be self-financing and energy saving, cutting running costs by 50% and extra office space will be leased out.

The new building would double the number of workspaces to 2,800.

The company also says the new design, which involves a new lane connecting Fitzwilliam Street and James Street East, would be more sensitive to its surroundings.

If planning permission is secured, construction could start in 2016 following demolition of the building.