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An Bord Pleanála

Seven-storey co-living development in Rathmines appealed after council rejects planning permission

Dublin City Council said the proposals would provide a “poor standard of residential accommodation”.

BARTRA CAPITAL HAS appealed to An Bord Pleanála after Dublin City Council refused planning permission for a seven-storey 102 bed-space co-living residential development in Rathmines.

The council refused Bartra’s application last month for the development on Ardee Road in Rathmines, with a planner highlighting an “objectionable” level of shared facilities on each floor for its future occupants.

Proposals for this type of shared accommodation have proven controversial at a time when rents across Ireland are at their highest level and the government has been roundly criticised for the ongoing housing crisis.

It first hit headlines earlier this year after plans for a co-living development was made in Dun Laoghaire. The 208 studio dwellings would see dozens of people sharing one kitchen

In May, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy told a conference that co-living offers an “exciting” choice to young workers.

In an interview with Newstalk Breakfast in July, Murphy said co-living is a something he has seen abroad in other cities “where you have your own private room, ensuite, but you also then have shared community spaces, a gym, a movie room, a games room, potentially, a kitchen, a living room”. 

Presenter Kieran Cuddihy, at this point, compared what Murphy was describing to a prison. Murphy replied that it was “more like a very trendy, kind of, boutique hotel, type place”. 

In August, Sinn Féin tabled a bill aimed at banning co-living developments through amendments to the Planning and Development Act. Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said it would put an end to the “spectacle” of co-living.

Rathmines development

The co-living development, referred to as shared living in Bartra’s proposals, included a single kitchen/living area per floor that would cater for 13 to 18 residents per floor above the ground floor.

The majority of the rooms – 92 of 102 – would be single rooms of 16 square metres. 

The Dublin City Council planner stated that the images of the rooms indicate that the bed and chairs would be required to be stored in order to use the room for living space.

The planner stated that those living in these units “should be able to enjoy a permanent furniture layout for both living and sleeping”.

The propose splitting of shower, toilet and sink facilities provided an “inappropriate functional layout”, the planner added. 

In its decision, Dublin City Council found that the proposed bedroom units “would provide a poor standard of residential accommodation by virtue of their design, layout and orientation, in particular the internal configuration of the units”.

Reacting to the council’s rejection last month, a spokesperson for Bartra said it would analyse the council planner’s report before commenting further.

The spokerson added: “Bartra remain committed to co-living. Ireland needs new models of housing to cater for changing demographics, living habits and employment patterns,”

Co-living is a form of accommodation targeted specifically at single professionals who do not want single room apartments and has worked well in other cities including London, New York and Vienna.

Bartra filed the appeal for the Ardee Road site last Monday.

An Bord Pleanála is due to decide the case by 25 February next year.

With reporting from Gordon Deegan

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