Greystar plans for Monkstown suffer a massive blowPadraig Conlon 16 Feb 2023
THE developer behind a proposed 11-block Build to Rent (BTR) scheme on the grounds of Dalguise House in Monkstown village has been dealt a massive blow by the local council which has questioned fundamental aspects of the project.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council was expected to make a decision on January 26 but has instead sought further information from the applicant, a subsidiary of American real estate giant Greystar, with a comprehensive list of issues to be clarified or addressed before any decision is made.
Supporters of the No Highrise Monkstown campaign say they welcome the Council’s letter and say that it addresses many of the issues that their campaign has highlighted.
In its communication to Greystar, the council expresses a concern for how the development could result in a proliferation of BTR accommodation in the area and says Greystar has not adequately demonstrated how to avoid this.
Additionally, they have raised serious concerns with the proposed building heights for four of the 11 blocks and asked for them to be revised and redesigned.
The Council says that the proposed rents being quoted for the Part V requirement of the application are excessive and that any agreement based on these would not be considered the best use of resources available.
Auctioneers Hooke and McDonald have quoted rents that range from €2,000 per month for a 39 square metre studio, €2,500 per month for one-bed flats, up to €3,000 per month for two-beds and €4,000 for three-beds.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council told the applicant that any agreement based on the sort of rents quoted “would not be the best use of resources available” and that the Housing Authority’s preferred option would be for the transfer of land.
DLRCOCO’s letter also highlights concerns about the usability and suitability of communal amenity space and public open space without any radial sunshine and issues with accessibility.
including substandard pedestrian access, width of footpaths and the provision of bark chip on pedestrian routes across the site that it says will exclude users of various abilities.
Local activist Nicola Coleman, who organised a petition signed by over 1,000 people opposed to the development, says that when people see prices like these “it shatters any expectation we might have that Greystar’s proposed development represents a solution to the housing needs of the community.
“A two-bed flat at almost €35,000 per year is on a par with the take-home pay of a primary school teacher or nurse.
“The 488 units at these prices represent an annual rental yield of over €16 million for Greystar.
“It is an obscene transfer of wealth from tenant to shareholder that is not only grossly unfair but utterly unsustainable.
“The current government housing policy is locking people into permanent rental situations.
“The combination of ordinary people being priced out of the market by investment funds buying up entire developments and the significant sums of money that they extract from people in rent means that future generations are never going to be able to buy their own home.
“People are starting to question what will happen in the future to those living in these sorts of developments when they retire, get sick, or face other life-changing circumstances that alter their finances and they can’t make the rent.
“The track record of Greystar as a landlord is well known across the communities of South County Dublin and internationally, particularly when Greystar conducted what was reported to be the largest mass eviction in Silicon Valley when they displaced more than 670 people in San Jose, California.
“The NO Highrise Monkstown Campaign has caught the attention of people on the other side of the Atlantic and some of the signatories and comments left supporting the campaign come from as far afield as Berkeley, California.”
Almost one third of the council’s letter seeks clarifications on the submitted Environmental Impact Assessment which confirms the presence of bats and bat roosts – including Leisler and Pipestrelle bats – as well as nesting sites for many birds such as herons.
“Environmental concerns, including the protection of mature trees, biodiversity and habitats are to the fore of people’s minds,” she said.
“The campaign intends to put pressure on local politicians to ensure that a development of this scale, with such grave irreversible environmental and social consequences, is not allowed to happen.
“The best way to join the campaign is to sign the petition at change.org/nohighrisemonkstown”