Ronan plans to sell €960,000 apartment to council for social housing

Developer places €66.69m price tag on 101 units at new Dublin scheme

Johnny Ronan's Ronan Group is planning to sell 101 apartments at an estimated cost of €66.69 million for social housing to Dublin City Council as part of a plan to construct the two tallest buildings in the country.

The planned package includes one two-bedroom apartment with an indicative cost of €964,030 to the council as part of the Ronan Group’s Waterfront South Central scheme for Dublin’s docklands.

The estimated costings are contained in fast-track planning documents lodged with An Bord Pleanála concerning the Ronan Group's plan to construct 1,005 apartments.

The Ronan Group and Colony Capital are seeking to build three buildings, with one reaching 45 storeys and a second 44 storeys on a 1.1 hectare site at Dublin's North Wall Quay.


The Henry J Lyons Architects-designed scheme is to include a public bar-function room located at level 44 in one of the blocks, while a public viewing deck will also be provided at levels 44 and 45.

As part of the applicant’s Part V obligations to provide 10 per cent of the development towards social housing, the Ronan Group has put an average cost of €660,358 on each apartment to Dublin City Council.

The estimated prices rise to €964,030 for a two-bedroom 86.6sq m unit, with one-bedroom apartments potentially costing the council a variety of prices ranging from €419,020 to €637,705.

The final costs to the council will be subject to negotiation if and when planning permission is granted.

The voluminous planning documents lodged with the appeals board are accompanied by a promotional video for the scheme.

The voiceover proclaims the “landmark” development “completes what will be a bustling dockland area where more than 20,000 will live and work”.

It continues: “And it will happen. They always make it happen... People will live there – make futures there – maybe dream up – no – upwards and onwards to even better things.”

Almost anticipating objections against the planned scheme, the voiceover continues: “and the usual commentary and backlash we all love so much fades away to reveal – well – it is going to be incredible. Where will you be?”

In the planning documentation lodged, Mr Ronan says: “Dublin needs to grow responsibly to meet future demands for a growing population and a growing economy.

“This means creating projects that are additive to the city, that the city is proud of, that are attractive to a growing, younger population and that can be symbols of what Dublin stands for,” he says.

Planning scheme

The North Lotts & Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme 2014 for the area states that building up to 10 storeys high can be allowed, and planning consultants for the Ronan Group, Tom Phillips & Associates, acknowledge the proposal breaches building heights in the scheme.

However, Mr Phillips says the height limitations in the 2014 scheme are not in accordance with strategic planning policy at national level.

He says planning permission should be granted as the 2014 North Lotts Planning Scheme “is out of date” and does not adequately respond to current national and international circumstances.

Mr Phillips says planning permission should also be granted as the subject lands can help solve the housing crisis, and national policy specifically seeks to avoid blanket height restrictions.

The development meets many, if not all, criteria set out by national policy in terms of suitability for a high-density development incorporating taller buildings, and there is ample justification for An Bord Pleanála to permit to material contravention of the Development Plan and Local Area Plan concerning building heights, Mr Phillips says.

A decision is due on the application in May.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times