Way is cleared for 445 build-to-rent apartments in Stepaside

Despite more than 150 objections, fast-track scheme up to eight storeys gets go-ahead

An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to a 445-unit build-to-rent apartment scheme at Stepaside in south Dublin.

The board granted planning to Ironborn Real Estate for the scheme comprising nine blocks rising from two to eight storeys in height despite more than 150 objections lodged against the fast-track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council recommended to the board that planning be refused across a number of headings for the scheme on a 3.39-hectare site at Aiken’s Village.

The council recommended refusal after concluding that the scheme would seriously impact on existing and future residential amenities and depreciate the value of those properties.


It also recommended refusal after finding that the scheme was not a suitable location for the provision of a build-to-rent apartment scheme. One of those to lodge a submission was local TD and junior Minister Josepha Madigan of Fine Gael.

In her submission, the Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion asked the board ensure that the concerns of residents associations, businesses and community groups were taken into account when making its decision.


Ms Madigan stated that the development plan permits up to six storeys in height for the area and asked that the board provide sufficient justification for the granting of permission for heights up to eight storeys.

She also stated that a balance needed to be struck between what is being proposed for future communities and what is currently being experienced by existing residents.

In planning documents lodged on behalf of the applicant, Ironborn is to provide 44 units to the council for lease, with an indicative cost of €79,900 per month. This works out an average lease cost per month of €1,815.

With a five-year planning permission now granted, the applicant and council will engage on a final lease cost per unit.

In his report, An Bord Pleanála senior planning inspector Rónán O’Connor found that the site is suitable for a build-to-rent scheme as it is an accessible urban location that is zoned for residential development.

Recommending that planning be granted, Mr O’Connor stated that the increased height and density on the site was supported by the building height guidelines.

He stated that the height strategy pursued is one that pays sufficient heed to the surrounding developments, with permission granted for a separate seven-storey, 200-unit scheme some 300 metres east of the site.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times