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Trinity heads for another south Dublin showdown as it plans 300 more student beds

The college has run into several planning disputes with Dartry residents over student housing.

TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN has revealed plans for a major new student accommodation project in Darty, south Dublin.

There are currently three blocks of apartments at the site called Trinity Halls, which is made up of 669 single bedrooms, 125 twin bedrooms and 178 apartments.

Two separate tenders have been filed by the third-level institution relating to the construction of a new building at the student accommodation facility to house another 300 beds.

One tender document filed by the college has sought experts to oversee the project management and quantity surveying aspects of the development, while another is a contract for design services.

In the tender, Trinity said the project may be developed using the new Strategic Housing Development Scheme – which allows large housing projects to bypass the local council system and go straight to national planning authority An Bord Pleanála.

The Trinity Halls expansion plans have surfaced at a time when the college is locked in a feud with Dartry residents. Last year, Trinity College applied to Dublin council for permission to rent student beds to tourists outside of term time.

3700265 Trinity Halls in Dartry YouTube YouTube

The plan was given the all-clear by the local authority despite dozens of objections from local residents.

One appellant said that Trinity College has been a “bad neighbour” since the Dartry student blocks were given planning permission in the late 1990s.

Another complainant, who lives directly opposite the development, said the apartment blocks also cause a lot light pollution.

“The students leave every blind open so that during the evening and throughout the night, the large commercial lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows leave nothing to the imagination – not dissimilar to a reality TV show.”

In November, numerous residents associations appealed the council’s ruling to An Bord Pleanála, with a decision due on that case this month.

Planning rows

In the tender documents for the new student accommodation building, Trinity College noted that “due to the planning history in the area”, applicants must be able to cope with any planning delays.

It added that the applicants should be “flexible enough to go into a mode that suits the waiting periods”.

“It will be a condition of this commission that the tenderers are prepared for a lengthy planning process,” the tender stated.

The college also stated that applicants should be familiar with the planning regulations that make up the Strategic Housing Development Scheme.

Work on the development is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019, according to the tender, and it is due to be completed within 24 months.

3700262 Trinity Halls in Dartry YouTube YouTube

Accommodation shortage

The plan for the new 300-bed complex comes at a time when Dublin in particular is suffering from an acute shortage of rental accommodation.

Last year, Trinity economist Ronan Lyons predicted the capital would need the equivalent of a block of 300 student beds approved every month until the late 2020s based on current demographic trends.

A number of major developers and investment firms have already been targeting the student accommodation market in Ireland, with US property giant Hines launching a 447-bed facility in Dublin last year.

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Written by Killian Woods and posted on

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