Dublin city councillors approve plans for nearly 1,700 homes

Developers to be sought for O’Devaney Gardens, St Michael’s Estate and Oscar Traynor Road

A “mixed tenure” development of 584 homes is planned for O’Devaney Gardens, off North Circular Road. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A “mixed tenure” development of 584 homes is planned for O’Devaney Gardens, off North Circular Road. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Plans to build almost 1,700 homes on three Dublin City Council sites, the city’s most ambitious housing programme since the property crash, have been approved by councillors.

The “mixed tenure” developments at O’Devaney Gardens, St Michael’s Estate and Oscar Traynor Road will have 30 per cent social housing, 20 per cent affordable rental, and 50 per cent private homes. More than 1,000 of the 1,700 homes will be apartments.

Council deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny said expressions of interest from developers would be sought by the end of March with the selected developers asked to draft masterplans for each site. The masterplans, based on the council’s housing requirements, will need the approval of councillors.

Former council estates

Two of the sites – O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7 and St Michael’s Estate in Inchicore – are former council flat estates. The largest plot, 17 hectares at the Santry end of Oscar Traynor Road, is not a former social housing development, but was bought by the council in the 1980s and has been the subject of several proposals that never came to fruition.

It has been designated for 640 homes, more than 80 per cent of which will be apartments, including some duplex units, in blocks of up to six storeys. There will also be potential for a hotel on the site, which will be developed in phases, with the council intending to seek a single tender for the development.

At O’Devaney Gardens, a 1950s flat complex close to the Phoenix Park, the remaining flats are in the process of demolition. In total, 584 homes are planned for O’Devaney Gardens, 101 of which will be houses, with apartments in blocks of four to five storeys. Another 30 social homes will be located on a neighbouring site on Infirmary Road.

The council has put an indicative value of €14 million on the site and is proposing to offer all or parts of the land for sale by public tender, with conditions relating to tenure mix and future use. The council already has permission for 110 homes at O’Devaney Gardens, 56 of which will be social housing. Government funding of €17.9 million has been committed for these 56 homes with construction expected to begin around Easter.

Building communities

The council also plans to sell lands at St Michael’s Estate, but has yet to put a value on the site. Thornton Heights, a development of 75 social houses and apartments, was completed at the site of the former flat complex two years ago. The council plans 422 more homes, all of which will be apartments or duplexes.

The chairman of the council’s housing committee, Sinn Féin’s Daithí Doolan, said the initiative was not just about bricks and mortar but about building communities. “We are in the midst of a housing crisis caused by years of starvation of funding for housing. What we have in front of us is a plan to deliver up to 1,700 homes for the city.”

The plans were approved by 53 to eight councillors. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Green Party, and several independents voted in favour. Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, the Workers Party and some independents voted against the plans, saying they represented the privatisation of public land.