Planning process on Sandyford site shows ‘dysfunctional’ system

Ires Reit plan now includes three apartment blocks comprising 456 individual units

Dublin City Council decided last year to limit the height of apartments in low-rise areas of the inner city to 24m and to 13m in low-rise areas of the suburbs.

Dublin City Council decided last year to limit the height of apartments in low-rise areas of the inner city to 24m and to 13m in low-rise areas of the suburbs.

 

Council objections to aspects of an initial planning proposal made by property firm Ires Reit for a site in Dublin’s Sandyford suburb illustrates the “dysfunctional planning system in Ireland,” according to Investec.

Property firm Ires Reit has resubmitted a planning application to build a major apartment development on its Rockbrook site in Dublin’s Sandyford.

This was after planners with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) raised concerns about the height and density of its original proposals.

The company, now Ireland’s largest private landlord with a portfolio of nearly 2,400 apartments, is now seeking permission to build three apartment blocks, comprising 456 individual units, and several commercial units.

As part of the planning process, council planners had raised concerns over the company’s original proposal to build 492 apartments on the site, citing issues relating to the height and density of the development.

Housing shortage

The site originally had planning, dating back to 2006, for 467 apartments. Investec said that given the housing shortage and central government policy it would have expected a “ proactive response from local planners” instead of objections to the height and density of the scheme.

Ires Reit bought the site close to Dublin’s M50 as part of a parcel of lands from Nama for €87.5 million in 2015, believing planners would be amenable to increased density developments given current demand for housing in the capital.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has raised concerns about planning restrictions in Dublin and the potential risk to future housing supply.

This followed a decision last year by Dublin City Council to limit the height of apartments in low-rise areas of the inner city to 24m and to 13m in low-rise areas of the suburbs.