Drumcondra locals object to ‘overbearing’ proposed developmentGary Ibbotson 21 Apr 2022
A proposed build-to-rent apartment scheme in Drumcondra has been called “excessively overbearing” by local residents in submissions made to Dublin City Council.
Last month, Ginxo Trading Ltd filed for planning permission to construct a 74-unit development for Turnpike Lane at the rear of 59-69 Drumcondra Road Lower.
A report lodged on behalf of the applicants by PMCA Architects and Planning contends that the site “represents an opportunity to transform a derelict under-utilised site by creating a sustainable residential development”.
PMCA says the project will be suitable for mix of renters and will be constructed to the highest quality standards.
However, submissions made to the council were largely in opposition to the development with residents and councillors urging the council to reject the plans.
One objection, filed on behalf of a number of Drumcondra Road residents said the proposal “is reminiscent of the doomed high-rise building disasters of the 1960s and incompatible with sustainable development” due to its scale, density and lack of facilities.
Another observation which was submitted by a local resident who is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, said the development is “an architectural botch job” and “excessively inappropriate in its height and volume.”
The same objection said that “notwithstanding the height, the seeming lack of architectural merit or indeed consideration for the physical appearance of the building, the quality of the dwellings, or lack thereof, show no sensitivity for the liveability of new homes.”
Former environment editor at The Irish Times, Frank McDonald has told the council that “in the course of more than 40 years writing about planning in Dublin, I have rarely come across a proposal as brazenly outrageous as this one”.
Green Party councillor Donna Cooney also submitted an objection, saying that build-to-rent developments do not promote the growth of local communities.
“My concern is with the over proliferation of these type of developments which do not contribute to sustainable housing and connected communities,” she said.
The plan is also at odds with the Dublin City Development Plan, Cooney says, which says that up to 42% to 50% of the total units may be in the form of one bed or studio units.
“The proposal is all 74 build to rent units, with only 11 two bedroom and 45 studio apartments,” she says.
Labour Senator Marie Sherlock, in her submission, said that she hopes, without too much further delay, sustainable, affordable housing will be constructed on the site.
She said: “However, I fundamentally do not accept that the build-to-rent model can provide this.”
An Taisce told the council that the scheme should be refused permission “as it would constitute gross overdevelopment to the rear of a terrace of protected structures and would fail to protect the amenities, setting and special interest of this terrace”.
A decision is due on the application next month.