Plans lodged for 500 apartments in Howth on long vacant site

by Sylvia Pownall
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Plans have been lodged to build more than 500 high-rise apartments on a prime seafront site in Howth that has lain vacant for several years.

Locals have nervously awaited the development of the former Techrete site beside the DART station, which was at one stage under consideration by Nama-appointed receivers Grant Thornton.

Their options three years ago were to sell it, build it with a joint venture partner, or retain control of the site and contract out the construction project.

Now, Atlas GP group – part of Marlet property, which bought the land last August – has earmarked it as part of an ambitious ‘Project Pier’ development for the seaside town.

In plans lodged directly with An Bord Pleanala, Atlas is seeking permission to build 512 homes, a creche and four commercial units on the high-profile site, with a decision due by August 8, 2020.

The application, which lists costs of €135 million, is the fourth attempt to redevelop the derelict former Techrete factory site and proposes a higher density than previous applications.

The proposed development includes a gross floor area of 48,252sq m on a 2.68 hectare site.

It would include 512 mainly one- and two-bed apartments in blocks totalling eight storeys in height, with 439 parking spaces and 1,335 bike spaces.

The plan also includes a publicly accessible walkway and cycleway to the north of the site, a civic plaza, a landscaped park and communal gardens.

The commercial aspect includes a 1,705sq m anchor unit, a restaurant, a retail unit and a cafe.

Cllr Cian O’Callaghan (SD) said there was support locally for the development of the derelict site, but it must make a “positive contribution” to the community.

He added: “The understandable concerns of the local community about how these latest proposals to intensify development at the site will impact on the village character of Howth and traffic congestion must be addressed.”

A spokesman for Marlet said urban development required a “delicate balance” between the required car parking and integration into established traffic flows “while at the same time following national policy towards reducing car-usage and utilising existing public transport”.

He added: “We were very conscious of this in making this application.”

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