Development of 10,000 home scheme moves a step closer in Limerick

€2bn scheme sits on 123 acres near Limerick’s Colbert train station

Colbert station in Limerick city where the State is planning a large scale development. Photograph: Liam Burke

Development of a €2 billion scheme with 10,000 homes in Limerick City moved a step closer on Friday after the State-sponsored Land Development Agency (LDA) outlined plans for the site.

The body, established to co-ordinate land within State control for optimal use, said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Limerick City and County Council, the HSE and CIÉ to create a master plan for the brownfield site located at Limerick's Colbert train station.

It’s understood that the 123 acre (50 hectare) site has the capacity for about 10,000 homes, most of which will be apartments. With an expected cost of €200,000 per unit, the total residential element of the site will cost about €2 billion. It’s understood that the parties are looking at progressing the project on the basis of the site ownership staying as it currently is.

The site is said to have potential to deliver "very significant living, office and leisure space". To begin with, the development will go through a design review process to provide a vision of what could be delivered. Former president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and director at RKD architects, David Browne, has been appointed chairman of the design review panel.


LDA chairman John Moran said the location of the Co Limerick will deliver a "very desirable transit oriented development".

“That form of development will be the key for the future to fostering cohesion and sustainable living in this new local community. Healthy living without car dependency can now become a reality for thousands of new residents in Limerick,” he said.

Social and affordable

The LDA was created in 2018 and is currently active on nine sites to deliver about 4,000 homes. The Government has committed to capitalising it with €1.25 billion. The Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, has previously said that a key part of the agency's work is to deliver social and affordable homes in addition to community spaces.

The strategic location of the site will likely provide a boon for Colbert Station, which recently completed a €3.5 million investment in the first phase of a €17 million project. The station, which caters for 1.1 million rail passengers per year, is also home to Bus Éireann’s hub in the city.

CIÉ group chief executive Lorcan O’Connor said the State’s largest public transport provider has a “unique role” in support sustainable development.

“With hubs in cities and towns across Ireland, CIÉ lands can play a key role in the provision of housing, employment, public services and leisure space in close proximity to frequent, high-quality transport services,” he said.

The design review process for the Limerick site is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business