Dublin City Council refuses planning permission for student accommodation on Naas Road

Scheme envisaged 941 bed spaces at Gowan House

An artist's impression of the proposed student housing development at Gowan House on Dublin’s Naas Rd.

Dublin City Council has refused planning permission to a 941 bed-space student accommodation scheme for a site at Gowan House on Dublin’s Naas Road after concluding that it “fails to align with the principle of a 15-minute city”.

The large scale residential (LRD) scheme by Malclose Ltd comprises of a 15-storey and a 11-storey block made up of 871 standard rooms, 47 accessible studio rooms and 23 studios at Carriglea Business Park.

Malclose – a subsidiary of Michael Cox’s Hollybrook Homes – was proposing to also utilise the bed spaces for short-term lets during student holiday periods.

The applicants were seeking a seven-year planning permission due to the risk of a High Court judicial review which planning documentation stated could add between one and three years to the length of a project.


Consultants for the applicants, Thornton O’Connor Town Planning, said that the site was “an ideal location for student accommodation due to its location beside the Luas, facilitating travel to a huge range of facilities including the city centre to the east, Tallaght to the south-west and Ballyfermot College to the north-west”.

Thornton O’Connor said that the scheme would “unequivocally contribute positively towards addressing the national critical shortage in student accommodation supply and should free up private rented accommodation being utilised by students”.

However, in its comprehensive refusal, the city council said that the absence of residential provision was contrary to a zoning objective of the Dublin City Development Plan.

The council has also refused planning permission due to the site’s remoteness from any third-level educational campuses, its inappropriate location within the Carriglea industrial estate and the industrial estate being disconnected from shops, amenities and residential services.

The council also concluded that the form, scale and mass of the 15-storey block d was not in scale.

The council said that the proposed development would seriously injure the residential amenities due to reduced daylight/sunlight of adjoining properties to the south and West and would set an undesirable precedent for similar developments in the area.

The said that the that the scheme failed “to align with the principle of a 15-minute city and promotes unsustainable travel patterns by nature of its location and limited access to services and amenities”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times