‘Build to rent’ apartment scheme on former Blackrock College land gets go-ahead

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‘Build To Rent’ Apartment Scheme On Former Blackrock College Land Gets Go-Ahead ‘Build To Rent’ Apartment Scheme On Former Blackrock College Land Gets Go-Ahead
An employee lays bricks at a Countryside Properties Plc green-field residential construction site in Chelmsford, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. U.K. homebuilding expanded at the fastest pace in a year in September as an improving economy and record-low interest rates boosted construction growth. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Gordon Deegan

An Bord Pleanála has cleared the way for the construction of a planned €135 million ‘build to rent’ apartment scheme on former Blackrock College lands.

This follows the appeals board granting planning permission for the 241-unit apartment scheme by Lioncor at lands at Cross Avenue on a site adjacent to the private fee paying school.

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme by Lioncor subsidiary, 1 Players Land Ltd is made up of three blocks with one reaching to nine storeys in height.

Opposition

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission despite Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council recommending that permission be refused after concluding that the scheme will have a detrimental impact on the character of the area due to its scale, height and visual prominence.

The appeals board also granted permission in spite of locals expressing concern over the scheme.

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One of the third parties to express concerns was Rector at St Philips and St James’ Church, Rev Canon Gillian Wharton.

Rev Canon Wharton told the appeals board: “Given the proposed development’s immediate proximity to our grounds and church we consider the scale and particularly the height of the proposed development will dwarf the church and be problematic for the range of activities undertaken on our campus”.

The St Margaret’s Residents Association has registered its opposition to the scheme while the Board of Management of Booterstown National School has also raised concerns.

Fast track

This fast track scheme permission follows Lioncor purchasing the site at Cross Avenue for around €16 million last year from the order responsible for Blackrock College, the Holy Ghost or Spiritan congregation.

The appeals board inspector in the case, Ms Máire Daly stated that there is ample justification for a ‘Build to Rent’ development at the site due to its location “close to employment centres and beside high quality public transport facilities”.

Ms Daly stated: “The proposed residential type and tenure will provide a viable housing solution to households where home ownership may not be a priority and will provide a greater choice for people in the rental sector.”

Ms Daly also stated that she was satisfied that the units would accommodate a range of age cohorts and household types, including downsizing and freeing up under-occupied larger units in the vicinity, all of which is appropriate in terms of achieving a sustainable mix of household sizes and types.

Ms Daly also concluded that the development will not result in any significant adverse impacts on residential amenities or nearby school amenities by way of direct overlooking.

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A report lodged by the applicants with the scheme concerning the amenities on offer compared to international schemes of similar size “is best in class”.

The amenities include a pet wash, a residents’ lounge, a fitness area, a lobby and café, a co-working area and a relax-sitting area.

Planning consultants for the scheme, McGill Planning stated that the proposed building height “ensures optimal use of this site at this urban location”.

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