The 2015 decision by An Bord Pleanála decision to grant permission for a 9 storey office development will have a major adverse impact on Dublin’s City Quay Church, a Protected Structure [Picture 1], located on the Liffey Quays Conservation Area.

The permission was granted to Targeted Investment Opportunities PLC (with the support of NAMA) in March 2016 following appeal by An Taisce arguing that the development was oversized.

The Board inspector Jane Dennehy recommended omission of the seventh, eighth and ninth stories on the western side of the scheme, to protect the setting off the Church. [Note 1]

However, the Boards decision granted permission for a nine storey wall abutting the Church, with a Direction from Bord Member Michael Leahy striking out the inspectors recommendation on the three storey reduction. [Note 2]

This decision raises a serious policy implementation question on An Bord Pleanálas consideration of Protected Structure legislation and in the quality of its decision-making, particularly in the giving of reasons and considerations.

In May 2016 development commenced without a range of preliminary conditions on construction management being complied with, including protection of the Church, on which An Taisce has complained to Dublin City Council.

This case highlights multiple planning failures by Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála, in protecting the historic Church of the City Quay community.

This case also confirms the wider policy failure in the protection of Dublins historic city centre and the setting of historic buildings in a range of decisions by Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanala including Molesworth Street.


Ian Lumley, Heritage Officer, An Taisce. Tel: +353 1 454 1786 Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: [email protected]
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland



  1. Link to Inspectors Report:
  2. Link to Board direction: