Milltown residents say build-to-rent scheme will create ‘a ghettoised population’

Development of 97 apartments on three blocks planned for former Murphy & Gunn site

A 97-unit build-to-rent apartment scheme for a former Murphy & Gunn site in Dublin 6 will create “a ghettoised population”, according to local Milltown residents.

Last year, Charlemont Project Ltd lodged plans for the 48 one-bedroom and 49 two-bedroom scheme comprised of three apartment blocks, with one rising to six storeys, at 9-14 and 11c Milltown Road, Milltown.

However, locals have lodged more than 50 objections against the scheme, with the chair of the Eglinton Residents’ Association Robin Mandal telling Dublin City Council that it would seriously injure the environmental, social and visual amenities of the area.

Milltown residents Mary Hennessy and Ton van Nuenen have told the council that the units proposed "will create a significant transitory population due to little variation of tenancy, or size of unit across the accommodations".


They said “the effect of such a ghettoised population will be to create a significant disruption factor within what is a mature residential area”, adding that renters “will contribute little to the support of an established community”.

In a reference to the bestseller Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam, the two observed: "We will all end up 'bowling alone'."


The contention that “a ghettoised population” would disrupt the local community is repeated by other residents who have lodged similar objections.

In their objection, local residents Órla Danaher and Richard Danaher have told the council that the plan, along with a nearby permitted 670-unit mainly build-to-rent scheme, “constitutes a gross overdevelopment of such a small area, particularly given that this type of housing will effectively lock out anyone who may have wanted to consider Milltown a place to purchase a permanent home”.

Catriona Byrne of Abbeyfield, Milltown contended that the combined two developments are the antithesis of the "notion of neighbourhood-making and sustainable communities, creating a sudden influx of almost 2,000 transient occupants".

However, a report by planning consultant John Spain, on behalf of the applicants, states that the site is appropriate for a build-to-rent scheme given its proximity to existing local amenities and good public transport.

Mr Spain said the scheme would provide much-needed residential accommodation and the site was suitable for the scale, massing and design of the apartment scheme. He argued the scheme would provide an acceptable quantum and density of development in this accessible urban location.

A decision is due on the application later this month.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times