Merrion Square ‘build-to-rent’ scheme gets green light

Permission granted after applicants reduced height of scheme and number of apartments

Dublin City Council has given the green light for a build-to-rent scheme on Merrion Square.

The council planner's report has described the five-storey, 15-apartment scheme by a company majority-owned by Cairn Homes founder Kevin Stanley as "innovative" and having a "unique design".

The report said that the scheme would provide “for an infill scheme on this underutilised brownfield site in the city centre and introduce additional vibrancy to Stephen’s Place”.

The council granted planning permission after the applicants, LeFavre Merrion Holdings Ltd, reduced the height of the scheme by one floor to five storeys over basement and reduced the number of apartments from 19 to 15.



The 15 units are to be one-bedroomed and the report said it was regrettable the applicant did not avail of the opportunities to provide for a more balanced mix of accommodation types or more generous floor areas within the scheme.

The mixed-use commercial proposal by LeFavre Merrion Holdings Ltd also includes a cafe/lounge, yoga studio and gym for a site to the rear of 39-43 Merrion Square.

The application is part of a wider redevelopment of 39-43 Merrion Square and, according to planning documentation lodged with the application, on completion the plan will offer an environment for about 350 people to work and enjoy the community of the area.

Kevin Hughes, the planning consultant for the applicants, told the council the applicants' intention was to operate the buildings "as a best-in-class workplace destination".


Mr Hughes said the vision for 39-43 Merrion Square was “to provide a unique place to work, live, connect and inspire while embracing the special heritage and history of the five unique Georgian houses”.

A separate submission said the project would attract “individuals and companies who put the health and wellbeing of their people to the fore”.

Louise Kennedy, who operates her flagship retail store at Merrion Square, said in a submission that for almost 25 years she has lived and worked close by and was “very passionate about the area”.

Ms Kennedy told the council “the proposed development would bring a new vitality and interest to Merrion Square and Stephen’s Place which would be a very positive development”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times