Plan for 1,259 homes in blocks up to 11 storeys at Dundrum hospital site

Majority of the new homes for Central Mental Hospital lands will be social and affordable housing

A masterplan for the redevelopment of the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, with almost 1,300 homes in blocks up to 11 storeys tall, has been published by the Land Development Agency (LDA).

The majority of the new homes will be social and affordable housing the agency said. However, it could not confirm if any houses and apartment would be for private sale, as it said the “tenure mix is yet to be confirmed by Government”.

The south Dublin scheme will be largest undertaken by the LDA from its initial portfolio of nine plots of State lands, and will see a mix of 1,259 houses and apartments on a 11.3 hectare site less than 500m from the Windy Arbour Luas stop and 800m north of Dundrum Town Centre.

While 80 per cent of the homes will be one and two-bedroom apartments, there will be some three-bedroom and four-bedroom houses, well as some larger apartments and homes specifically designed for older people. The typical building height will be between four and eight storeys, with two to three storey houses at the edges of the site. Initially the LDA had proposed a 14 storey block, however, following resistance from local residents, the tallest buildings will be 11 storeys located at the centre of the development.


“This balances the need to optimise this landmark infill state-owned site, in a highly sustainable location for the provision of much needed affordable housing with the desire to integrate into an existing neighbourhood,” the LDA said.

The mid nineteenth-century hospital buildings, including the chapel and infirmary, will be preserved and reused, but not for housing. The agency said their protected structure status would have made their conversion to housing impractical. Instead they will be subject to a “sensitive adaptive reuse” as community buildings as well as an enterprise and innovation centre for the area. “The innovation centre will facilitate remote working opportunities and help reduce the need to travel for many.”

One third of the site will be retained as open space the LDA said, including the existing walled garden and a central public plaza suitable for seasonal and farmers’ markets and public events. “Biodiversity will be a key element, with preservation of much of the existing native planting as well as enhancing flora and fauna,” it said.

Parking will be provided for 390 residents’ cars and 150 visitors as well as 2,160 cycle spaces. While there will be a number of pedestrian and cycle entrances, all vehicles will access the estate from Dundrum Road.

Public submissions on the plan can be made until May 21st. An application will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála later this year, with a view to starting construction in early 2023. The first homes are expected to be available towards the middle of 2024, with the entire scheme scheduled for completion by 2028.

The LDA Bill, that will establish the LDA as a commercial state agency, is currently the Oireachtas and requires at least half of all homes on State lands to be affordable. However, Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien can direct that all homes on a site would be social and affordable housing. Speaking on the Bill recently Mr O'Brien said: "In cities like Dublin I expect it will be 100 per cent affordable and social."

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times