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Bartra Capital secures planning permission for its fourth co-living scheme in Dublin

The company is planning to spend €130 million constructing its planned four shared co-living sites.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/LU YAO

RICHARD BARRETT’S BARTRA Capital has secured planning permission for its fourth shared co-living space scheme for the capital.

This follows An Bord Pleanala granting planning permission for the €40 million proposal in spite of Green Party Minister Roderic O’Gorman being one of two current TDs to lodge objections against the shared co-living 210 bed space project for Castleknock.

Barrett’s company is planning to spend €130 million constructing its planned four shared co-living sites in the capital at Dun Laoghaire, Rathmines, Ballsbridge and Castleknock with all now securing the green light.

The Castleknock proposal involves Bartra Capital demolishing Brady’s pub on the Old Navan Rd and construct a five storey 210 bed space co-living scheme there.

The Bartra co-living scheme for Castleknock included 14 bed spaces at basement level.

However, the board has ordered the omission of all 14 basement bed spaces and be replaced by additional recreational and leisure facilities following a recommendation by Senior Planning Inspector, Rónán O’Connor

O’Connor made the recommendation after stating that the quality of the residential environment for the basement units “is highly questionable”.

He stated that the occupiers would be overlooked and “would feel inclined to maximise their privacy by closing blinds or curtains, with the result of a very poor standard of accommodation. This is not an acceptable standard of accommodation”.

Along with O’Gorman lodging an objection, current TD Paul Donnelly (SF) and former TD Ruth Coppinger (Solidarity People Before Profit) also submitted objections against the plan.

In a joint objection against the Castleknock plan, O’Gorman and party colleague Councillor Pamela Conroy argued that the proposal “constitutes over-development of a suburban site in the middle of traditional residential housing estates”.

Council objection

The board received over 90 objections against the proposal and the
inspector’s report released by An Bord Pleanala shows that the board granted planning permission for the proposal in spite of a strong recommendation from Fingal County Council to refuse permission.

The Council stated that the proposal is considered substandard taking particular account of the level of amenity offered by the communal open spaces, and the number of north and east facing single aspect units.

The Council also stated that the proposal would seriously injure the amenities of the area by way of overshadowing, overbearing and overlooking.

The local authority also found that the proposal is not acceptable in principle at the suburban location.

However, the appeals board granted planning for the proposal after O’Connor found that the proposal would constitute an acceptable quantum and density of development in this accessible urban location.

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O’Connor also found that the proposal would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area, would be acceptable in terms of urban design and in height and quantum of development.

A number of objectors argued that the proposal will impact negatively on property values.

However, O’Connor stated that there is little evidence submitted to support that claim and “I do not concur the proposal would in fact negatively impact on property values in the area”.

O’Connor stated that the proposal is acceptable in principle at this site having regard to the location of the site within walking distance of a major employer, Connolly Hospital, and within close proximity to the amenities and services of Blanchardstown Village.

The granting of permission follows the government moves last month to halt further co-living developments with the Minister for Housing Daragh O’Brien (FF) confirming that guidance will be issued to councils that there should be a presumption to refuse planning permission to co-living shared accommodation type developments.

Applications already made will not be affected by the effective government ban.

The Bartra Castleknock proposal is the second time that the company has lodged the plan with An Bord Pleanala.

The appeals board last year gave the project the green light but this was successfully challenged by a local residents group in the High Court which quashed the decision last June.

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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