Blanchardstown Centre remains in the limelight, as Goldman Sachs confirm intention to sell

Labour Cllr slams ABP's decision to grant almost 1k apartments at popular retail outlet

by Rose Barrett
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In the limelight in recent weeks following An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant permission for 971 apartments up to 16 storeys high at the White Car Park, Blanchardstown Centre made headlines again this week when it was confirmed the popular shopping centre would be going up for sale.

The Irish Times stated owners Goldman Sachs had appointed Eastdil Secured and CBRE to find a buyer for the large retail park in Dublin 15. Blanchardstown is the largest shopping centre in the country, likely to achieve a guide price of €650m-725m.

Above landscaped drawing of the approved apartment complex at Blanchardstown White Car Park site

Sale or no sale, Cllr John Walsh (Labour) is appalled at ABP’s decision to grant planning permission, which he claims, makes a mockery of proper planning and sustainable development.

“The decision by the Board failed even to acknowledge or address in any way the legitimate concerns raised in the eight appeals by local residents, businesses at the centre and public representatives, about the extraordinary height and scale of this development and the impact on already overstretched community infrastructure, such as schools, childcare and GP surgeries.

“But even more damning is that the application for such a large-scale development fails to deliver decent, affordable housing – only 10per cent of the development will provide for the mandatory level of social housing.

“Furthermore, there is no obligation on the developer to provide any affordable units at all! This is likely to be another unaffordable, build to rent (BTR) development where a hedge fund seeks to extract the maximum profit from the housing crisis.”

Cllr Walsh (above) continued: “Residents in neighbouring estates in Blanchardstown who desperately need social or affordable housing will effectively be excluded from a large-scale development which fundamentally changes the character of their local area.”

“It is extraordinary that such a development is justified based on the need for housing when it fails to address the core social need for affordable homes and a mix of tenures and housing types. Half of the units in this development will be one bedroom or studio apartments – this neglects the urgent housing needs of families, many of whom are threatened with homelessness or struggling with sky high rents.”

John Walsh concluded: “The Board’s decision not to grant an oral hearing where the voice of the community could be heard and the issues fully debated is undemocratic and shows complete disregard for the genuine concerns of local communities in Blanchardstown.

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Feature image RTÉ News

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