Plan for residential and commercial development on Poolbeg peninsula


PLANS FOR a new urban quarter on the Poolbeg peninsula, with homes for 10,000 people and office space to accommodate 16,000 workers, are being released for public consultation today by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

The plans, once they are ratified by the Minister for the Environment, will allow for the development of more than 100 acres of former industrial lands including the 25-acre Irish Glass Bottle site, the neighbouring 12-acre Fabrizia site and the former Pigeon House power station, dock and hotel.

The development area will encircle the Ringsend sewage-treatment plant and Ireland’s first municipal waste incinerator due to be built by Dublin City Council.

Approval to create a special docklands planning scheme for the Poolbeg peninsula was granted to the docklands authority by the Government in mid-2007.

The special planning schemes, also known as Section 25 schemes, give power to the docklands authority to grant permission for developments.

This means that a developer does not have to go through the normal process of applying to the local authority, and a possible appeal to Bord Pleanála, as long as the docklands authority is satisfied that the development complies with the planning scheme.

The Poolbeg planning scheme will be open for public consultation until April, after which it will go to the Minister for the Environment for final ratification.

The authority expects to receive the first applications under the scheme by the end of this year. It envisages that the peninsula will be developed over a 10- to 15-year period in two phases.

The first phase will see the development of around 450,000 sq m.

The second phase, the development of the remaining 350,000 sq m, will only be permitted after a Luas line has been extended to the area.

The planning scheme has divided the area into four zones.

The first, at the beginning of the peninsula, incorporates the glass bottle and Fabrizia lands.

The glass bottle site was bought for €412 million in 2006 by a consortium headed by developer Bernard McNamara, but the authority has invested a 26 per cent stake.

Fabrizia Developments is owned by Liam Carroll, who was refused permission by Bord Pleanála in 2007 to develop the land, having been granted permission by Dublin City Council in 2006.

This first zone will be a mixed-use residential, commercial and retail development.

The second zone is a small strip of land to the north of this, which will be used for commercial development only in order to form a boundary between the new development and the port lands.

The third zone is another large tract of land, owned by Dublin Port and currently used mainly for concrete production, facing out on to the southern shore of the peninsula towards Sandymount.

The north of this land will have some commercial development, but the south will be primarily residential facing out on to the bay.

The final zone, to the north of the sewage-treatment plant around Pigeon House Dock, is owned by the city council and Dublin Port. The farthest zone from the city, this area is likely to be the last developed.

The area will have commercial and residential development, but with several protected structures on the land, including the former power station and hotel, it will also be the site for arts and cultural developments.

Although the scheme will involve high densities it will be relatively low-rise.

Most of the residential accommodation, which accounts for 60-70 per cent of the land use, will be six to seven storeys, while the maximum heights will be 15 storeys. Several areas, particularly at the south shore, will be less than three storeys.

The city council had spent several years developing a framework plan for Poolbeg. However, this plan was never ratified and will now be superseded by the docklands plan.