Over 25% of Poolbeg lands to be used for social housing

Dublin City Council secures housing deal with Simon Coveney, Nama and receivers

More than a quarter of the 3,500 apartments planned for the new urban quarter on the Poolbeg peninsula will be used for social and affordable housing under a deal secured by Dublin City Council.

The draft Poolbeg Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) scheme will allow the fast-track planning of homes for up to 8,000 people on the former industrial lands centring on the Irish Glass Bottle site. Under the provisions of the SDZ, the council will be able grant permission to landowners which cannot be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Under the planning acts, housebuilders must provide 10 per cent of any scheme of 10 homes or more for social housing, which would result in a total of 350 social homes.

However councillors had sought a much higher percentage of social housing for the area, with some calling for up to 50 per cent of new homes to be made available for people on the housing waiting list.

Chief executive Owen Keegan told councillors that, legally, the council could not increase the percentage of social housing above 10 per cent on land it did not own.

However under a deal brokered by the council on Thursday with Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, Nama and receivers, State funding will be made available to buy additional homes from the builders of any development, to bring the level of social and affordable housing to 900.

Glass Bottle Company

Dublin Port Company owns about half of the 34 hectares of the Poolbeg special development zone. It plans to retain its lands for port use.

The largest site in the area, the former Glass Bottle Company and adjoining Fabrizia lands, comes to just under 15 hectares. These sites are both in receivership.

Some 80 per cent of this Glass Bottle Company/Fabrizia land is to be used for homes, all of which will be apartments.The remaining 20 per cent of this site is to be an office and retail “buffer zone” separating the housing from the industrial land banks.

While councillors have approved the SDZ planning scheme, it can still be appealed to An Bord Pleanála. However, it is understood the receivers have agreed not to appeal the scheme following the social housing deal.

Separately, councillors agreed to facilitate the construction of a film studio on land owned by Dublin Port on the peninsula. The decision comes one day after the port company ruled out the use of any of its lands for the development of a film studio.

Councillors agreed the port land would be zoned for mixed use, which could include “film, TV and digital content production studios”.

Dublin Bay Studios, headed by Windmill Lane Studios founder James Morris and film producer Alan Moloney, had lobbied the council to set aside up to 20 acres to develop an €80 million studio complex.

While the council planners said land could not be designated solely for the film studio, it could be included as an allowable use as part of a mixed-use zone.

The construction of a film studio on the land would still require the agreement of Dublin Port.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times