Dublin City Council has given the green light to contentious plans for 688 apartments on former RTÉ campus lands despite opposition to the scheme from Ailesbury Rd residents and the Austrian embassy in Dublin 4.
The Council permission provides for the construction of a 192 bedroom hotel with the apartments comprising 416 built to rent apartments and 272 build to sell units.
The scheme is to be built across 10 blocks with one block, containing the hotel, reaching to 16 storeys in height.
Underlining the scale of the plan, the Council has attached a condition that the developer pay €9.978 million to the Council in planning development contributions.
The 57-page planner’s report recommending planning permission states that the scheme “has potential to create a vibrant residential community in this part of the city and is therefore considered to be in the interest of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
The planner's report also concluded that the proposal “has the potential to deliver a high quality residential development at a serviced site that is located at a central location on a public transport corridor”.
The report also concluded that “the design and quality of residential accommodation provided is of a high standard and is satisfactory”.
Planning documentation lodged with the Large Scale Residential Development (LRD) application shows that in compliance with its Part V social housing obligations, Cairn is proposing to sell 69 apartments - or 10 per cent of the total number - for €39.14 million to Dublin City Council for social housing.
In the Part V package, Cairn is proposing to sell 35 one bed, 30 two bed and four three-bed apartments.
The indicative costs of the apartments range from €683,100 for a three-bed to the cheapest at €495,001 for a one-bed apartment.
Cairn has put an indicative price tag of €653,643 on a number of the two-bed apartments while the average cost of an apartment in the proposed Part V deal with the Council is €567,355.
Cairn is proposing to locate all the Part V apartments in Block 9 in the development.
A letter from Cairn Homes to the council on the costings cautions that its contents are indicative and are intended to provide a reasonable estimate of the costs and values of the units based on current construction costs and values.
Cairn and the Council can enter negotiations on the final price of the apartments when a final grant of planning permission is issued.
It is the firm’s second attempt to build on the lands that it purchased for €107.5m in 2017 and a previous planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanala was quashed by the High Court arising from an action taken by three local residents, Chris Comerford, John Gleeson and Pat Desmond, wife of billionaire, Dermot Desmond.
Now, due to the level of local opposition against the new scheme, the city Council decision is likely to go before An Bord Pleanála once more on third party appeal.
In response to the new scheme, on behalf of the Ailesbury Rd Residents Association, Dr Patrick Gavin told the Council that the building of apartments and the hotel across the 10 blocks “is not the solution to Ireland’s housing crisis”.
He further contended that the lack of apartments to cater for growing families would suggest that the demographic of persons living in the apartments would be short term and as a result not being overly interested in being part of the local community.
In total 15 submissions were made including another from the Anglesea Rd, Ailesbury Rd and Ailesbury Grove Residents Association.
On behalf of the Republic of Austria, planning consultant, Tony Manahan told the Council that due to the overdevelopment, height, visual and traffic impact on the area, it is likely that the impacts of the proposed LRD are so great on the Austrian’s ambassador’s office and residence on Ailesbury Road that the Council should refuse planning permission.
The three Ailesbury Rd residents in the High Court case, Pat Desmond, Chris Comerford and John Gleason - along with Imelda Gleeson - lodged a one-page submission.
On their behalf, Ken Kennedy Solicitors state the firm's clients are concerned that the development will negatively impact on the private amenity of their properties “and respectfully request that mitigating measures are included to avoid overlooking from the apartments to protect the privacy and amenity of our clients’ properties, including height restrictions on those blocks closest to our clients' properties and planting of high dense evergreen tree screening”.