Fast-track planning granted for 872 housing units and 238 student bed spaces

Two separate decisions made on Strategic Housing Development schemes in Dublin and Athlone

A crane at a residential construction site in Sandyford, south Dublin, Ireland, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The mass purchase of affordable houses — on the market for about 400,000 euros ($490,000) — set off a public firestorm and highlights the growing tension over the squeeze in urban housing and the role of large investors. Photographer: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg

An Bord Pleanála has granted fast-track planning permission for two residential schemes in Dublin and Athlone involving 872 residential units and 238 student bed spaces.

In one of two separate decisions concerning Strategic Housing Development (SHD) schemes, the appeals board has granted planning permission to Greenseed Ltd for the construction of 750 apartments at Park West in Dublin 12.

The scheme, located 8km to the west of Dublin city centre, comprises seven blocks ranging from two storeys to 15 storeys in height.

Separately, the appeals board has granted planning permission to Avenir Homes Ltd for 122 residential units comprising 60 houses and 62 apartments on the northwestern side of Athlone town.


The site is located 800m from the Athlone Institute of Technology, with the scheme including 238 student bed spaces.

The appeals board granted planning permission for the Park West scheme after Dublin City Council recommended that planning be granted.

The scheme comprises 321 one-bed apartments, 384 two-bed apartments and 45 three-bed apartments.

The inspector in the case, Stephen Rhys Thomas, recommended a grant of permission after concluding that “the proposed development will add greatly to the availability of one-bedroom apartments in a quarter of the city characterised by conventional housing stock comprising three-bedroom houses”.

Endorsing the scheme, Mr Rhys Thomas said he was satisfied that “the architectural approach to the design of the apartment blocks achieves the double aim of providing suitable and attractive living for future occupants whilst at the same time adding greatly to the architectural and urban character of the area as a whole”.

Mr Rhys Thomas said that the proposed development “will provide an acceptable level of residential amenity for future occupants”.

“In addition, the proposed development has been designed to preserve the residential amenities of nearby properties and will enhance the residential amenities associated with the existing houses in the area,” he said.

The board granted planning permission for the scheme after concluding that it would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times