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Studio Anyo
building and property

Ireland's largest private landlord is appealing 'exaggerated claims' against a Sandyford project

Ires Reit had hoped to build more than 460 apartments at the partially developed Rockbrook site.

IRELAND’S LARGEST PRIVATE landlord, Ires Reit, has appealed Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council’s refusal to grant it planning permission for a major development in Sandyford.

The property investment fund said in a lengthy appeal to An Bord Pleanála that the rejected 467-apartment development at Rockbrook would fulfil government policy “by addressing the housing supply crisis” if it was given the green light.

It also said the project – located near the Luas green line – would tick a box in the 2016-2022 Sandyford Urban Framework Plan by providing a high-density development in the area.

Ires Reit – which owns more than 2,000 apartments in Dublin – bought the Rockbrook site from Nama in 2015 for a reported €87.5 million.

The project was initially started by Cork developer John Fleming before the economic crash.

The site originally had planning for 467 apartments. Ires Reit lodged an application for 492 units, but revised its proposal down to the original number.

‘Visually unacceptable’

In March, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council rejected the application from Ires Residential Properties Ltd to build hundreds of apartments across three 14-storey blocks.

It said the scale of the project which “would have an overbearing impact, would result in an oppressive built environment and would be visually unacceptable”.

“The proposed development would set an undesirable precedent,” the council said.

It also took issue with certain design elements of the apartment blocks, such as the “excessive length and minimal width of the internal access corridors”.

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The council said the layout of the buildings “would not provide for a high-quality living environment for future residents” and would “fail to create a positive ‘sense of place’”.

In a letter to the planning board – which was sent by McGill Planning – Ires said it was “not at all clear” how the proposed development could set an “undesirable precedent”.

It noted the proposed project would see the completion of the partially developed site at Rockbrook.

It said that the urban development plan for Sandyford encouraged the completion of the project because it would “consolidate the area by repairing edges and promote a coherent street pattern and skyline”.

Reacting to the council’s complaints about the proposed size of the corridors, Ires said: ”The planner’s report appears to suggest that the creation of (a sense of) place in an apartment scheme is contingent on the design of its corridors.

“This is an exaggerated claim and undermines the quality of the other more important spaces provided in the scheme where residents will spend the vast majority of their time – namely the apartments themselves.”

The An Bord Pleanála case is due to be decided on 28 August.

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New benchmark

Ires owns a large number of apartment developments in Sandyford, such as The Forum and Beacon South Quarter.

Earlier this month, Goodbody analysts suggested that the company’s new ‘Maple’ complex at Beacon South Quarter would set a new benchmark for rents in south Dublin.

According to Ires Reit’s website, rents for the apartments start from €1,925 per month for a one-bedroom property and €2,750 for three-bedroom units.

Recent research published by property website showed that the average rent across Dublin currently stood at €1,668 – up 13.9% during the year.

However the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in the Sandyford area was €1,339 – almost 44% below the starting prices at Ires’s Maple. The company’s average rent across its portfolio was €1,427 at the end of 2016.

Note: Fora publisher Journal Media Ltd has some shareholders in common with

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Written by Conor McMahon and posted on

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