Dublin 4 residents fail to block €50m build to rent scheme

Total of 26 submissions were lodged by third parties concerned over the development

Dublin 4 residents have failed in their attempt to block a €50 million 112-unit build to rent six-storey apartment complex from getting planning approval.

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to Maxol Property Ltd for the construction of the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme on a site southwest of Beach Road and south of Church Avenue in Irishtown, Dublin 4.

Part of the site – which is adjacent to St Matthew’s primary school – includes the former Michael Grant car dealership and is today occupied by a Maxol garage and Mace store.

Maxol Property Ltd has put an indicative price of €4.82 million on 11 units from the scheme to be sold to Dublin City Council for social housing.

The price tag doesn’t include the cost of development contributions and professional fees. The indicative price of a two-bed apartment is €540,000 and a one-bed apartment €400,000.

With planning permission now granted, negotiations can begin between the developer and the city council on a final price for the units.

The appeals board granted planning after ruling that the 56 one-bedroom and 56 two-bedroom scheme would constitute an acceptable residential density at the location and would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area.

Planning consultants for the scheme, Tom Phillips + Associates, argued that the proposal will result "in the regeneration of a serviced, brownfield urban site".

However, a submission lodged on behalf of St Matthew’s primary school claimed that the scheme “will likely adversely affect the operation of the school”.

Consultant Conor Sheehan also claimed on behalf of the school board that the scheme represents overdevelopment of the site.

The school stated that there are 10 pupils attending the school who have serious health issues that would be affected by building dust during construction and nine children on the autism spectrum “who will struggle to regulate themselves with building noise and piling”.

Mr Sheehan said the school is also concerned that when the apartments are built, it would appear that several balconies would overlook the school yard.

‘Grossly oversized’

Sandymount resident Penelope McGrath BL argued that the scheme is “grossly oversized in terms of density, mass and height”.

Ms McGrath further stated that “the proposal to shoehorn 112 apartments into this small site is not best practice”.

Pointing out that St Matthew’s is one of four national schools in Sandymount, Ms McGrath said: “I am objecting in the strongest possible terms to the granting of six floors of residential units overlooking our most innocent and precious citizens”.

She claimed that the planned scheme “will destroy the school’s thoughtfully and carefully created environment”.

Andrea Pappin of Havelock Square and a mother of children attending St Matthew's stated that she was concerned over the development.

Ms Pappin told the appeals board “it is hard to overstate the impact this development will have on the school particularly during the construction phase”.

In total, 26 submissions were lodged by third parties concerned over the scheme.

Paul O’Brien noted the concerns expressed about overlooking of St Matthew’s school but concluded that the apartment block “has been carefully considered to ensure that overlooking is restricted”.

On the impact on the school during the construction phase, Mr O’Brien stated that the applicant is well aware of the presence of St Matthew’s “and suitable measures can be taken to prevent issues of noise, dust and vibration on the school/pupils/teachers and other staff”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times

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