A DUBLIN city councillor has criticised a proposal for co-living units in the Broadstone area of Dublin 7 and has called for the planning application to be rejected.
The site is bounded by Mountjoy Street to the west, St Mary’s Place North to the south and Paradise Place, Phibsborough, to the east.
The proposed development comprises a shared living scheme over three to five storeys. It will involve the demolition of a derelict and vacant dwelling at 16 Mountjoy Street and the provision of 121 shared living units, ranging from 15 to 49 sq metres.
The plan also provides for a gym, lounge areas, a sound booth and communal kitchen facilities.
However, it’s understood there is considerable local opposition to the plan. Cllr Joe Costello (Lab) stated that while the development of the derelict site is long overdue, he believes that a co-living scheme of 121 units at this location is completely inappropriate for the area.
“A development of houses for families would be much more appropriate to this site,” he stated. “There is a residential housing and homeless crisis. Whatever housing is built on the site should be mainly or exclusively for the young families in the city who cannot afford a home of their own or who are paying exorbitant prices for rented accommodation and are desperately seeking a new home to buy. The 121 co-living units constitutes over-development of the site.”
Cllr Costello believes that co-living units will lead to a large transient population in the area and contribute nothing to the development of a vibrant urban community in Broadstone and Phibsborough.
He added: “The Dublin 7 area has had a huge influx of student accommodation in recent years with over 8,000 units planned in close proximity to this development. While there is a requirement for developers of student accommodation to show the number of units being planned within a 1km radius, there is not a similar onus on the co-living developers. Nevertheless, the high proportion of student accommodation in the area needs to be considered in the context of this application.
“Such a co-living development would set a very unwelcome precedent for planning in the area.”
Cllr Costello also highlighted his concerns that the development could become a short-term letting hub for AirBnB or similar platforms. He pointed out that the proposed development is adjacent to a protected structure and a number of houses along Mountjoy Street are also protected structures.
“The proposal for a co-living development would impact negatively on these protected structures and fall short of the standards required for development adjacent to protected structures outlined in the Development Plan,” he said.