Plan for 550 apartments on Chivers site leaves sour taste

New 10-storey scheme with 200 more units than originally proposed a ‘slap in the face’

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy  removed caps on the height of buildings which developer Andrew Gillick said put ‘an onus on me to maximise the use of the land’. Photograph: Tom Honan

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy removed caps on the height of buildings which developer Andrew Gillick said put ‘an onus on me to maximise the use of the land’. Photograph: Tom Honan

 

The developers behind a controversial apartment scheme in north Dublin, that was approved by An Bord Pleanála last August, are seeking to add almost 80 more apartments to their plan – 200 more than initially proposed.

Andrew Gillick two years ago asked councillors to rezone the former Chivers jam factory in Coolock for housing. He told councillors he and his brother Maurice intended to build about 350 apartments rising up to five storeys in height.

Earlier this year following the rezoning, his company Platinum Land lodged an application with the board for 495 apartments in blocks of up to 10 storeys.

The board granted permission in August but reduced the height to nine storeys and the number of apartments to 471.

The company has now applied to the board to have the height of the build-to-rent scheme increased to 10 storeys and to build a total of 550 apartments.

Mr Gillick told The Irish Times the changes would allow more housing to be supplied “for the most needy”.

In its submission to the board, Platinum Land said it could fit the additional apartments on site by removing some surface car parking, duplex units, and “podium courtyards” from the development. It also said extra space could be gained by removing some internal staircases from the blocks.

Planning policies

The developer argued that the scheme was “consistent with national and local planning policies that aim to achieve compact growth and consolidation objectives”.

It said the Chivers site was “an appropriate location for the proposed height that will be achieved by the proposed alterations to the permitted scheme and the resultant increase in residential density”.

The greed of this company knows no bounds. While we need homes we need them in reasonable, sensible developments

Mr Gillick two months ago told a meeting of city councillors the heights he had initially discussed with the council were the maximum allowable at the time. However, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy last December removed caps on the height of buildings which the developer said put “an onus on me to maximise the use of the land”. He said he was prepared to make the entire development available for social housing.

Independent councillor John Lyons said the application to increase the number of apartments and the height was made without any consultation with local residents or politicians.

‘Greed’

“The greed of this company knows no bounds. While we need homes we need them in reasonable, sensible developments. This is not a sensible, integrated plan, it is a slap in the face to the local community,” he said.

Mr Lyons said the plan to increase the number of apartments was published on the developer’s website, but only came to the council’s attention when it was highlighted by another developer. He said a fresh application was now needed.

Mr Gillick said the building “is not getting bigger and we are not increasing parking. The development continues to massively exceed all standards and will be a great place to live.”