Dublin City Council welcomes approval by An Bord Pleanála of Dublin Docklands SDZ

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Dublin City Council welcomes An Bord Pleanála’s decision to approve the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme. This approval will facilitate fast-track planning for the Docklands Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), which is of significant economic and social importance to the city and state, keeping the focus on the social and economic regeneration of the Docklands.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn welcomed the news that the Docklands SDZ plan has been approved by An Bord Pleanala“There is an urgent need for new offices in the city centre. The Docklands area is highly attractive to international investors so the approval of the planning scheme should now lead to construction of new commercial developments. The plan also prioritises residential development. The existing apartments in the Docklands are proving very popular and the SDZ scheme provides for 50% of the new development to be residential. This is also very welcome. Good quality apartments close to the city centre is vital for Dublin to grow sustainably. Our research shows that 80% of people who live in the city centre cycle or walk to work, so more residential development in Docklands will be important for Dublin.”

However, the Lord Mayor also warned that "Many of the sites are controlled by NAMA appointed receivers so I welcome the indications from NAMA that they will play a pro-active role in entering joint ventures and releasing sites for development. It is key however, that the government proceeds to legislate for the vacant sites levy recommended by my Taskforce as, in a rising market, we must do everything we can to discourage the short term investor who may seek to mothball sites in the expectation of flipping them on in a few years at a profit.”

The remaining sites available for development in theNorth Lotts and Grand Canal Schemes equate to circa 22 Hectares, an area roughly equivalent in scale to the entire Custom House Docks / IFSC Area). Crucially, the IFSC area alone has already generated an employment capacity of almost 24,000 persons at the end of 2010. This demonstrates the significance of the area in terms of job creation, foreign direct investment and the economic potential of the remaining lands available at Spencer Dock North and Grand Canal.

Under the SDZ, the floorspace to be delivered amounts to almost 2,600 residential units and almost 305,000 – 366,000 square metres of commercial floorspace. This potential would deliver an additional residential population of almost 5,800 and employment of almost 23,000 people.

The approved scheme has been set up to provide for both a wide range of employment needs and also to provide for a variety of much needed residential accommodation for the City.

The planning scheme for the Docklands SDZ seeks to meet the future needs of the City, by creating a vibrant living urban quarter and an economic cluster, capable of competing on an international level. The Docklands area has the potential to support real economic recovery and provide for a critical mass of development, to foster investment and innovation and sustain the growth of key sectors, such as financial services and the services economy.

The Planning Scheme provides a clear blueprint for development with a certainty of outcome for applicants, which is likely to be a critical factor in attracting potential investors. This in turn will facilitate economic recovery and employment creation. It also provides an appropriate balance between investor certainty and community involvement.

We recognise that the regeneration of Docklands is about people, not just physical and economic development. To this end, the City Council will actively pursue a community and social development agenda, and seek to ensure that the Docklands area continues to develop as an exemplary model of good neighbourhoods and successful place making.

We will continue the good work and success of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA), maintaining a strong focus on social regeneration and the communities and neighbourhoods of the SDZ and wider Docklands Area.

Dublin City Council is the Development Agency, as specified for the purposes of the Planning Scheme under the SDZ designation in accordance with Part IX Section 166(3) of the Act. The Agency will consist of a dedicated unit of the City Council with a full-time presence in the Docklands. The City Council is looking forward to implementing the Docklands SDZ Planning Scheme. We will work closely with all stakeholders to achieve the vision of the Docklands SDZ as a world class maritime quarter with a distinctive Dublin character.


For further information contact:

Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170,


The designation of the SDZ was proposed by Dublin City Council and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority for the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme areas in accordance with Part IX of the Planning and Development Act, 2000.  This follows the Government decision on May 31st, 2012 to wind up the Docklands Authority within 18 months, but to retain an appropriate fast track planning framework to complete the Docklands project.  Preparatory work and pre-consultation for the SDZ and Docklands Master Plan have been ongoing over a number of months, prior to the Government designation of the SDZ in December 2012.

Dublin City Council is specified as the Development Agency for the purposes of the Planning Scheme under the SDZ designation in accordance with Part IX Section 166(3) of the Act.

Following extensive pre-draft consultation and public consultation over the statutory timeframe for public display of the Draft Planning Scheme, the Members of Dublin City Council approved the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme on 5 November 2013. The Scheme was subsequently appealed and An Bord Pleanála held an oral hearing over a six day period during February and March 2014.

The Scheme takes immediate effect from the date of the decision of An Bord Pleanála.

Dublin City Council will publish notification of approval of the scheme in at least one newspaper. The notice shall state that a copy of the planning scheme is available for public inspection at a stated place or places.

 A copy of the scheme, with the modifications as approved by An Bord Pleanála will be made publicly available.