Shrewsbury Road residents oppose Ballsbridge co-living plan

‘We would be observed like animals in a zoo,’ neighbours claim

Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Photograph: Bryan O’Brien


The residents’ association representing the home owners of Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4 is opposing plans for a 111-bed shared co-living development in Ballsbridge.

The Shrewsbury Road Residential and Environmental Protection Association (SRREPA) has lodged  an objection against the Bartra Property proposal for 98 Merrion Rd.

Chairman of the SRREPA Michael Maughan told Dublin City Council that the co-living proposal presents “a visually intrusive and dominant structure in the streetscape locality”.

“We feel it is excessively high relative to neighbouring buildings,” Mr Maughan stated in the one page submission.

The area around the Bartra proposal is zoned residential, where residential amenities are supposed to be protected and improved, according to the City Development Plan, he added.

“The proposal would have the opposite effect. It would negatively impact the residential amenities of surrounding dwellings. With so many overlooking windows and open terraces, this will impinge on the privacy of a significantly number of homes in the locality.

“There are a number of embassies on the area, especially, the British Embassy opposite and could present a security risk.”

In total, the city council has received 38 third-party submissions about the proposal.

Richard Barrett’s Bartra Property has already secured planning permission for two other co-living proposals for Dun Laoighaire and Rathmines.

The five storey proposal for 98 Merrion Road is to include 96 single rooms, six double rooms and three accessible rooms, along with a gym and cinema room.

Documents lodged with the plan state that the proposal has been designed to carefully avoid overlooking of neighbouring properties, and to provide the occupants with high quality indoor environment.

However, Merrion Road residents Fionán and Nuala Clifford told the city council that if the Bartra proposal proceeds, “we would be observed like animals in a zoo” due to overlooking on their property.

The Cliffords said the Bartra proposal would have a “devastating impact on the quality of our lives”.

“This proposed high, monolithic, intrusive structure plonked in the middle of the road would be completely out of character and scale... We are fans of modern architecture but it must be respectful to its location.”

Merrion Road resident, Marie Louise Nolan told the Council that as a result of Covid-19 “we can no longer have people  that are not family units living in shared accommodation”.

“This, in current times, is a bad idea.”

A risk assessment for Covid-19 for Bartra has “determined a low risk of transmission between persons in the co-living development”.

The assessment states: “In many respects the risks of transmission would be less than for people living in a normal house or shared apartment.”

A decision is due on the application next month.