Demolition of one of Dublin's largest and most dilapidated flat complexes has started ahead of a €12.5 million Dublin City Council social housing regeneration scheme.
St Teresa's Gardens, next to the Coombe maternity hospital in the south inner city, was to be demolished and rebuilt as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP), but the plans were scrapped more than five years ago, following the collapse of the property market.
The 1950s estate was earmarked for regeneration more than 10 years ago because of its poor living conditions and social problems. It has become increasingly run down since the failure of the PPP scheme with persistent sewerage and damp problems, that council engineers have been unable to resolve though maintenance measures.
The council has decided to demolish all of the more than 300 flats in the complex, most of which are now empty, and to rebuild less housing on the site, with more intended in future years.
The demolition started in recent days and one block has been razed, with the demolition of two more underway. Construction is expected to start around November on 50 new homes on the 2.3-hectare site. Of these, 16 will be apartments ranging from three-to-five storeys and 34 will be terraced houses two-to-three storeys high. The new housing is expected to be ready in early to mid-2017. A new park will also be created.
Two of the 16 old blocks, housing 60 flats, will be kept for some years, pending the construction of more housing. These two buildings are being stripped internally and the flats reconfigured, with 11 flats amalgamated to provide eight larger units, resulting in 57 new homes.
At more than five hectares, the site is one of the largest in the area. As well as the hospital, it is bordered by two other large sites, the former Player Wills and Bailey Gibson complexes. The plans require less of the land than is currently occupied. It hopes the unused portion will attract private development.
The council’s development is considerably more modest than the planned PPP scheme. The complex was to be replaced with 300 social and affordable houses and apartments, 300 private apartments, commercial units and community buildings.