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Plans lodged for state's first integrated housing scheme for older people at St Michael's Estate

The housing will be the first of more than 500 new units built at the Inchicore estate.

St. Michael's Estate in Inchicore ahead of its redevelopment (file photo)
St. Michael's Estate in Inchicore ahead of its redevelopment (file photo)
Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

A PLANNING APPLICATION for the first batch of more than 500 new homes at St Michael’s Estate in Inchicore has been lodged with Dublin City Council.

Circle Voluntary Housing Association has applied to construct 52 apartments as part of a pilot housing scheme which aims to provide social benefits to older people.

The scheme is separate to plans announced last year for hundreds of new homes at the site, which will form Ireland’s first-ever ‘cost rental’ housing scheme.

It will act as an integrated housing development for older people which will allow them to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

According to a planning application submitted by Circle, the development will consist of 16 two-bedroom apartments and 36 one-bedroom apartments.

The complex will also contain communal facilities on its ground floor, including staff offices and a publicly accessible tea room, as well as a roof terrace on top of the building.

Outside, resident courtyards and a landscaped open space will face on to the St Michael’s Estate Road) and will include a new vehicle setdown area. There will also be 15 car parking spaces and 52 bicycle parking spaces at the site.

Last year, the Department of Housing announced that it would provide €15m in funding for the scheme, with junior minister Damien English saying that the apartments would set a new standard in the future of state housing for older people.

“These homes are being future proofed even before they are built, with extra space in all the homes to allow for care staff and/or family overstays, whichever is the more appropriate as time goes by,” English said at the time.

The Department expected the complex to be completed by 2020 when it was announced last year. The council is receiving submissions on the proposed development until the end of this month.

The planning application comes a decade after a Public-Private Partnership with developer Bernard McNamara to build 720 new homes on the site collapsed.

A further 470 social and private homes are expected to be built on the remainder of the site as part of Ireland’s first-ever cost-rental scheme.

Those plans attracted controversy after Fine Gael junior minister Catherine Byrne hit out at them, despite them being welcomed by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.

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At the time, Byrne – a local TD – said that the plans “looked like overdevelopment” and represented a “bad day for the community”.

Earlier this week, it also emerged that more ‘cost rental’ housing could be given over to another approved housing body as part of plans for the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens on the city’s northside.

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