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CMH site in Dundrum, Co Dublin. LDA

Planning permission granted for 852 new homes on site of former Central Mental Hospital

Initially, the Land Development Agency planned to deliver 1,200 new housing units, including a 14-storey apartment block.

THE LAND DEVELOPMENT Agency has been granted planning permission for 852 affordable and social homes on the site of the former Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, Co Dublin.

A spokesperson for the LDA said the decision by An Bord Pleanála allows the agency to “move ahead with its plan to develop this landmark housing scheme and commence work on the next stage”. 

The LDA is a commercial, State-sponsored body that was established to coordinate land within public control that could provide affordable and social housing.

The planning permission covers 9.4 hectares of the site.

The development will involve over a third of the land involved being converted into public realms, including landscaped green spaces, which will be open to the public for the first time since the hospital was built in 1850.

The HSE vacated the Central Mental Hospital site in February of this year.

The bulk of the housing units will be apartments, but there will also be duplexes and houses.

Initially, the LDA planned to deliver 1,200 new housing units, including a 14-storey apartment block.

However, following public consultation, the height was scaled back to 11-storeys.

This was then further reduced to seven-storeys when permission was sought in March 2022.

The number of housing units was also reduced from over 1,200 to 977.

A spokesperson for the LDA said: “The grant of permission now reduces this number further to 852, taking into account concerns raised by local residents in terms of proximity and overlooking of existing properties in the immediate vicinity of the project.”

The spokesperson also described the granting of permission as the “culmination of an extensive planning, design and consultation process” which has been ongoing since 2020.

View2 Environment 19-04-21 Artist rendering of the planned development at the site of the former Central Mental Hospital. LDA LDA

John Coleman, chief executive of the LDA said the development will provide “over 800 badly needed affordable homes on the former Dundrum Central Mental Hospital site”.

“The scheme will be one of the country’s largest housing projects and involves a good mix of housing type in an area that can successfully accommodate such new developments given the strong existing transport links,” said Coleman.

He added: “We have listened closely to local residents and stakeholders, and in doing so have made significant alterations to the original proposed scheme to take account of their concerns.”

The LDA spokesperson added that it is in the process of delivering 5,000 homes on state land and 5,000 through the Project Tosaigh initiative.

Project Tosaigh is a market engagement initiative that aims to accelerate delivery of housing on sites with full planning permission that are not currently being developed by private sector owners due to financing and other constraints.

The project aims to deliver 5,000 affordable homes for purchase or rent by the end of 2026.

Including the CMH site, the agency now has planning permission for 3,220 homes on public land.

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