Locals fear ‘bachelors’ paradise’ at Poolbeg peninsula quarter

Local environmental group says plans ‘not child-friendly, not family-friendly’

The former glass bottle site on the Poolbeg peninsula

The former glass bottle site on the Poolbeg peninsula

 

Plans for a new urban quarter on the Poolbeg peninsula in Dublin, with the potential for more than 3,500 apartments, have been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The proposals would mean the development of “a kind of bachelors’ paradise”, the Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount Environmental Group has said.

Dublin city councillors voted to approve a strategic development zone for a 34-hectare site on the peninsula earlier this month. And the project received Cabinet approval in May 2016.

The development aims to provide homes for up to 8,000 people, a quarter of which will be reserved for people on the social housing waiting list.

The apartments are planned for a 15-hectare area within the strategic development zone, made up of the former Glass Bottle Company and Fabrizia lands. Most of the remaining lands included in the plan are owned by the Dublin Port Company.

Councillors have zoned part of the port company’s lands for “mixed use”, which would allow commercial and “creative industries” on the land, including film, TV and digital content production studios.

Adverse effects

Damien Cassidy, chairman of the Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount Environmental Group, said when the East Link Toll Bridge was being built, in 1983, local residents were given undertakings, including that there would be no additional traffic into the area and the activities of three local boat clubs would be enhanced and residential amenities protected. He said the new development would adversely affect these.

He also said it had been hoped the old glass bottle site would be used to form a new town with houses.

“The plan they have put in at the moment is for high-rise apartment blocks similar to the North Wall,” he said. “They are not child-friendly, they are not family-friendly.

“We will end up with a kind of bachelor’s paradise down here.”

He said people are entitled to homes, whether they are single or married, but if the development goes ahead, people will be coming home to a high-rise apartment, similar to the heart of London.

“If you tried that out in Howth, for example, or Dalkey, they wouldn’t hear of it, but down here anything goes,” Mr Cassidy said.

He also said there had been a lack of meaningful consultation before the zone was approved, with the council only carrying out “scoping exercises”.

Appeals to An Bord Pleanála will be accepted until the last week in October.