Bartra’s proposed controversial co-living apartment complex in Dun Laoghaire has been given the go ahead by An Bord Pleanala (ABP).

The development, which will be the largest co-living complex in the country, will be located on the site of the former CBS Christian Brother’s school on Eblana Avenue and will consist 208 residential units.

The planning application was the subject of much criticism as it was unveiled that a communal kitchen facility would be shared by up to 42 residents.

At the time of submission local councillor Melisa Halpin (PBP) told Dublin Gazette that she is “shocked at this planning application.”

She also said: “What Dun Laoghaire needs is affordable homes, not ‘bedspaces’ that some developer is going to make a quick buck out of.”

In a statement, Bartra’s chief executive Mike Flannery said: “This is a pragmatic decision based on Ireland’s need to embrace new tenure types.

“The Bord (Pleanala) recognise that there is a place for co-living within the Irish housing market and we look forward to delivering this new and innovative form of accommodation.”

The co-living concept has only recently been included in planning regulations. Under this arrangement, developers are not forced to provide car parking facilities and are exempt from social housing obligations.

They are also allowed to construct a higher number of units per floor than standard apartment developments.

In a statement, Dun Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP) said: “Shocked to hear that Bartra developers have been granted planning permission for their disgraceful plan for so called co-living – AKA box rooms with fold out beds – in central Dun Laoghaire.”