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Developer set to offer up 'cost-rental' housing at O'Devaney site in bid to break planning deadlock

The plans could pave the way for councillors to agree to a new housing development on the site

The last remaining blocks of flats in O'Devaney Gardens before their demolition.
The last remaining blocks of flats in O'Devaney Gardens before their demolition.
Image: RollingNews.ie

PROPERTY DEVELOPER BARTRA Capital is prepared to give over almost a third of units which are intended for private housing at the redeveloped O’Devaney Gardens for cost-rental housing instead, TheJournal.ie understands.

It means that more units at the site will have rents that are based on the cost of building and maintaining their development, rather than being set at a rate that maximises profit.

The proposal follows an agreement between the developer and Dublin City Council’s ‘Dublin Agreement’ group, who will meet discuss it tomorrow.

The plans could pave the way for councillors to agree to proceed with a new housing development on the site at the council’s monthly meeting next week.

The proposed development was the subject of controversy ahead of last month’s meeting, after a council report revealed that ‘affordable’ homes at the site would cost an average of €300,000, with some three-bedroom apartments priced at €420,000.

Councillors agreed to postpone a decision on the redevelopment of the site at the time, after a letter from Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy suggested that his Department could pull funding from the site if councillors rejected the agreement.

The minister also said that a failure by councillors to accept the proposals would be a “significant blow” to the city and call into question the council’s ability to deliver homes.

Bartra has been contracted to build 768 houses and apartments on the site. Currently, 50% of the scheme – 411 units – has been earmarked for private housing.

A further 30% has been ringfenced for social housing, with another 20% set to become affordable housing.

However the developer has reportedly agreed to sell up to 30% of those 411 prviate units to an approved housing body for cost-rental housing instead.

Although the total number of private houses which Bartra is prepared to sell has yet to be agreed, the move could see the end of a deadlock on whether to proceed with proposals.

Plans to redevelop the site have been in place for more than a decade, before the sod was turned on the first phase in the regeneration development last year, with 56 units of social housing expected to be ready at the site in 2020.

A spokesperson for Bartra declined to comment about the latest proposals when contacted by TheJournal.ie.

The company, founded by property developer and entrepreneur Richard Barrett, has been involved in a number of other developments across the capital.

Earlier this month, it was granted permission to build a 10-storey development in the Docklands, while it was also given permission to construct a controversial co-living development in Dun Laoghaire in June.

With reporting from Cónal Thomas.

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