Council gives green light for Merrion Square 'build to rent' scheme

The planner’s report has stated that the scheme will provide “for an infill scheme on this underutilised brownfield site in the city centre and introduce additional vibrancy to Stephen’s Place”.
Council gives green light for Merrion Square 'build to rent' scheme

Gordon Deegan

Dublin City Council has given the green light for a ‘build to rent’ scheme for Merrion Square that is part of a wider development championed by one of the country’s best known designers, Louise Kennedy.

The City Council planner’s report has described the five storey 15 apartment scheme by a company majority owned by Cairn Homes founder, Kevin Stanley as “innovative” and having a “unique design”.

The planner’s report has stated that the scheme will provide “for an infill scheme on this underutilised brownfield site in the city centre and introduce additional vibrancy to Stephen’s Place”.

The Council granted planning permission after applicants, LeFavre Merrion Holdings Ltd reduced the height of the scheme by one floor to five storeys over basement and reduced the number of apartments from 19 to 15.

The 15 units are to be one bedroomed units and the Council’s planner’s report stated that it is regrettable that the applicant did not avail of the opportunities to provide for a more balanced mix of accommodation types or more generous floor areas within the scheme.

The mixed use commercial proposal by LeFavre Merrion Holdings Ltd also includes a cafe/lounge, yoga studio and gym for a site to the rear of 39 to 43 Merrion Square.

Wider development

The application is part of a wider redevelopment of 39 to 43 Merrion Square and according to planning documentation lodged with the application on completion the plan will offer an environment for around 350 people to work and enjoy the community of Merrion Square.

Planning consultant for the applicants, Kevin Hughes told the Council that the applicant’s intention is to operate the buildings “as a best in class workplace destination”.

Mr Hughes stated that the vision for 39 to 43 Merrion Square “is to provide a unique place to work, live, connect and inspire while embracing the special heritage and history of the five unique Georgian houses”.

A separate submission stated the 39-43 Merrion Square will attract “individuals and companies who put the health and well being of their people to the fore”.

Louise Kennedy operates her flagship retail store at Merrion Square and in a submission to the City Council, the designer stated that for almost 25 years, she has lived and worked close by in Merrion Square and “is very passionate about the area”.

Ms Kennedy told the Council that "the proposed development would bring a new vitality and interest to Merrion Square and Stephen’s Place which would be a very positive development”.

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