Carmelites support development of some land at Terenure College for housing

Religious order running private school says proposed scheme would help to secure future of college

The construction of a seven-storey, 364-unit build-to-rent apartment scheme on former playing pitches at Terenure College in Dublin will help secure the future viability of the college, according to the head of the religious order in Ireland, the Carmelites, which own the site.

Housebuilder Lioncor has lodged plans – which also include 21 houses – for the scheme that is the first to be lodged with Dublin City Council under new planning rules for large-scale house developments, under a system that replaces the contentious Strategic Housing Development system.

The so-called Large Scale Residential Development (LRD) for Fortfield Road, Terenure, comprises four apartment blocks rising to seven storeys in height. It comprises 15 studios, 166 one-bed apartments, 174 two-bed apartments and nine three-bed units.

A letter enclosed in the planning application from Fr Michael Troy, provincial of the Irish Province of Carmelites, told the council that “the board of management and the Carmelite Order recognise the enormous benefit that this proposed development will have for the school and the order”.

Fr Troy said the development would “allow for a capital injection into Terenure College and secure the college’s future viability as a secondary school as well as benefit the ongoing work of the Carmelite Order in Ireland, Zimbabwe and other parts of the world”.

“Development of the site to the northwest of Terenure College lands will ultimately enhance and secure the continued operation of the school, its playing fields and swimming pool with more than sufficient space to cater for any school expansion,” he said.

Remaining 15 hectares

Fr Troy stated that the development site area at 2.6 hectares (6.2 acres) would not impact on the operation of the school. He said the remaining lands at 15 hectares “would be vastly more than that required for the school and associated uses”, adding that the site in question was “surplus to the requirements” of the order and Terenure College.

The site was previously used as playing pitches.

A planning report lodged with the LRD application states that the proposed development “will deliver high-quality urban design and will contribute positively and integrate well into the surrounding environment”.

Armstrong Planning state that the scheme will help address the housing shortage identified in the National Planning Framework by ensuring the delivery of comfortable, well-planned residential units and provide an alternative to larger houses that dominate the area.

The report states that the seven-storey height exceeds building heights that are generally permitted for the area in the City Development Plan but argues that Government’s building height guidelines leave it open for the council to approve such a development.

The closing date for third-party submissions on the scheme is July 18th.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times