Dublin 8 locals opposed to ‘grim’ high-rise block

by Gazette Reporter
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A ROW over the famous Player Wills site in south Dublin is heading for the courts as residents and the developer clash over plans.

Residents in Dublin 8 have expressed their opposition to plans for a 19-storey apartment block on the iconic site just off the South Circular Road.

US developer Hines applied to An Bord Pleanala redevelop the old Player Wills factory site for housing and a shared living scheme.

The strategic housing development, which bypasses the city council, would include 732 homes mostly made up of rental apartments and co-living units.

Permission for a development on adjacent land, including a 16-storey apartment block, has already been granted.

But the Dublin 8 Residents Association and others in the area are not happy with the current plans and are raising funds to pay for a legal battle in the High Court.

A spokesman told Dublin Gazette the community feared that the council and planning board were moving ahead in a “secretive” manner.

He said local objections were on the grounds of height and density as both are out of character with surrounding neighbourhoods.

He added: “The Bailey Gibson site has towers of 11 and 16 storey with basically zero public green space and yet was still approved by ABP after 180+ objections from local residents, local councillors and TDs, group observations and An Bord Pleanala’s own inspector agreeing with everything we said in his 140-page report.

“This has forced the community to take up a High Court Judicial Review which we are now trying to raise funds for in the midst of a pandemic. 

“The Player Wills site plans are now before An Bord Pleanala with even more locals submitting objections – especially against the 15 and 19 storey towers. 

“Between the Bailey Gibson and Player Wills site there will be four towers near or taller than Liberty Hall in among two-storey red brick Dublin 8. This doesn’t even include what is planned for the third DCC phase.

“The build-to-rent model is short sighted and completely profit driven. At €1,300 for a co-living studio, these will not be housing our young people and families who are most affected by the housing crisis.”

A decision on the Player Wills application is expected on April 15. The judicial review of the Bailey Gibson plan is scheduled for hearing from April 13.

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