Objections to €80m Avestus apartment block in Donnybrook

Council seeks more information for plan for 94 apartments on small Eglinton Road site

An image of the apartment block on Eglinton Road in Donnybrook that Avestus is seeking permission to build.

An image of the apartment block on Eglinton Road in Donnybrook that Avestus is seeking permission to build.

 

Planners are demanding more information from property player Avestus on controversial proposals for an €80 million apartment block in Donnybrook, potentially delaying a decision on the scheme by up to six months.

Avestus is seeking permission from Dublin City Council to build 94 apartments on a site measuring less than half a hectare on Eglinton Road, a well-heeled area on the capital’s southside.

About 70 locals have made submissions the council objecting to the seven-storey block on grounds including that it is too high, will worsen traffic congestion on already clogged suburban roads and is contrary to proper planning for the area.

The council responded to Avestus’s planing application by seeking more information from the company on its proposal. This gives the property developer up to six months to provide answers.

The council will decide whether to allow the company build the apartment block after it has considered the answers.

Among other things, planners are querying how the building will comply with restrictions limiting height in the outer city to 16m, how the company intends to provide public open space in 10 per cent of the development’s area, and the structure’s likely visual impact.

Labour councillor Dermot Lacey said locals were strongly against the proposal, at least in its current form. “There is a very high level of opposition, people feel that it is too much and too high,” he said.

Mr Lacey added that the planning application’s detail had added to concerns, as it appeared to provide for one entrance and exit point to the block, from Brookvale Road, which already suffers traffic congestion.

City planners have raised concerns relating to traffic and road safety, including car parking provisions within the block and the width of the footpath along Brookvale Road.

In addition, council staff are seeking Avestus’s proposals for dealing with flooding, including safe evacuation routes and access for emergency services, and how the company intends managing surface water.

Donnybrook Partnership

Avestus applied for planning permission through a business called the Donnybrook Partnership. The company, led by chief executive Olan Cremin, did not respond to requests for comment from The Irish Times.

Along with US-based Magnetar Capital, Avestus bought six adjacent homes in the Dublin 4 suburb late last year.

The two companies paid more than €6 million assembling the site. They bought the first three houses for €700,000, €1.2 million and €1.4 million, and paid €3.25 million for the remaining properties.

The development will reach seven storeys at some points, reducing to six and four at others. The plans provide for a cafe, lounge, residents’ meeting area and rooftop garden.

Avestus joined forces with Magnetar last year and established a new venture called Richmond Homes.

Its first project was Dawson Place near Arbour Hill on Dublin’s northside, which involved 25 new dwellings.

Magnetar Capital is a US investment fund that manages more than $13 billion in assets.

Avestus also has a presence in eastern European countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, where it owns shopping malls and offices.