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Council gives green light for €475m Kevin Street mixed-use development

Westridge Real Estate lodged plans for offices, 299 apartments on DIT Kevin Street site

The site of the former DIT campus at Kevin Street in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dublin City Council has given the green light to a €475 million plan to construct a mixed-use scheme for the redevelopment of DIT’s former Kevin Street Campus in Dublin.

Last May, Shane Whelan’s Westridge Real Estate lodged plans for the development of 53,110 sq ft of office accommodation in two 11-storey blocks, and 299 build-to-rent apartments across three buildings of up to 14 storeys in height.

Westridge acquired the 3.57 acre site for €140 million in August 2019 and a report lodged with the plans by EY estimates that the total output that the redevelopment will generate over 10 years will be €7.67 billion.

The council granted planning in spite of opposition from Senator Ivana Bacik (Lab), An Taisce and local residents.

Planning was granted after the developers reduced the scale of the proposal where the quantum of office space has been reduced to 50,008 sq m in response to local authority concerns.

The council has ordered that the developers pay €3.9 million in planning contributions towards public infrastructure, and an additional €1.5 million in respect of the Luas Cross City Scheme.

It granted permission after concluding that the development was acceptable and would not seriously negatively impact on the area. 

The planner’s report also considered that the proposal was in compliance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Objections

In her submission, Senator Bacik expressed concern that the proposal “will have a deleterious effect on the quality of life for residents in the locality”.

She added: “I do not and would not object to high-density developments in principle, but the mass and bulk of this proposal’s design lowers residential amenity and I know that the proposed height is of particular concern to many residents.”

In his submission on behalf of An Taisce’s Dublin City Association, Kevin Duff contended the demolition of the buildings on site to make way for the new development “is not justifiable”.

He stated that the proposed development “appears over-scaled and over-massed for the location”.

Professor of History at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and local resident Jane Ohlmeyer claimed that the proposal “will have an over-powering detrimental effect visually on our street”.

The residents of Blocks 1 and 2 of Bishop Street Flats also lodged objections, claiming the height of the 14-storey towers would impact on their privacy.

In his submission, former Irish Times journalist Frank McDonald claimed that the scale of the proposal was driven by the €140 million price paid for the site, which would leave “ existing residents to live cheek by jowl with this imposing representation of the ‘New Dublin’”.

Parties now have the option of appealing the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanála.

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