Permission granted for 3,500 homes on Poolbeg site

Council welcomes ruling that will lead to building of 875 social and affordable homes

A protest in 2016 at the Irish Glass Bottle site at Poolbeg calling for affordable housing. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A protest in 2016 at the Irish Glass Bottle site at Poolbeg calling for affordable housing. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead for the development of an “urban quarter” that will include almost 900 social and affordable homes at the Glass Bottle site on Dublin’s Poolbeg peninsula.

Dublin City Council has been preparing plans for the new urban quarter on the peninsula since it received Cabinet approval for what was billed as a fast track development in May 2016.

A total of 3,500 apartments, designed to house about 8,000 people, are to be built on the former Irish Glass Bottle Company lands and the smaller neighbouring Fabrizia site, which cover about 15 hectares all together.

Plans for the site include 350 units for social housing, while a further 15 per cent – or 525 – of the residential units shall be designated for “social and affordable housing purposes”, which will bring the total to 875.

The plan will also deliver 860,000 sq ft of commercial development as well as school sites and community space.

An Bord Pleanála ruled that plans for the site provide for “adequate leisure, community, educational, commercial facilities and public realm for future residents”, as well as for sustainable modes of transport.

It further added that the plans provide for “adequate infrastructural facilities” to service the area, and “allow for the creation of an attractive urban quarter”.

Owners of landbanks on the site are to prepare public realm “master plans” that will include street furniture, play equipment, lighting and public art, and their arrangement and location within the street.

The plans will also include parking details including exact number of off-street and on-street spaces, loading spaces and accessible spaces.

An Bord Pleanála ruled that to encourage “sustainable communities”, build-to-rent apartments would be limited to a maximum of 150 units in each of the four main blocks of the development.

The planning scheme will also seek to ensure that developments contribute to the 5 per cent allocation of space in the docklands area to be used for social, community, cultural, creative and artistic purposes.

Residential car parks in the basements will not include provision for visitors, who will instead be accommodated on-street where there is capacity for 165 spaces.

All car parking within basements are to be provided with electric charging points, while all visitor parking will be provided with ducting for electric charging.

Furthermore, provision is to be made for an “easily accessible below ground wastewater pumping station and associated above ground kiosk”.

Transformation

Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan welcomed go-ahead from An Bord Pleanála. “The plan incorporates new public open spaces, including a coastal park and a range of supporting community facilities including new schools,” he said.

“The development will transform this brownfield site into a vibrant city neighbourhood and will greatly help alleviate our housing crisis, noting that the plan provides for a wide range of apartments, associated employment and a neighbourhood centre.”

A spokesman for Nama said the agency would now examine how best to implement the delivery strategy “with a view to ensuring housing delivery as soon as practicable”.

“The development of Poolbeg West will make a strong contribution to the residential needs of Dublin as it is one of the last remaining large-scale residential development opportunities still available near Dublin city centre,” he said.

Business group Dublin Chamber said the delivery of new homes in the Poolbeg area “cannot come quick enough”.

“We’ve been talking about building houses on the Poolbeg West site for far too long,” said chief executive Mary Rose Burke. “The granting of planning permission means that the talking can finally stop and the building work can begin.”

She said the Poolbeg scheme was intended to be a fast-track project, with construction due to have started in 2017.

“Two years later and a spade is yet to enter the ground. The sooner work begins, the better,” he said.

“The availability and affordability of accommodation is the biggest issue currently facing businesses and their staff. The Poolbeg West scheme has the potential to deliver exactly the kind of integrated, high-density solution that Dublin urgently requires.

“The delivery of the Poolbeg scheme will make a real dent in the housing shortage, so this is very welcome news for Dublin.”