There is disappointment amongst locals in Drimnagh following the approval of a major development at the former Dulux factory site.
Approval was given for the scheme by An Bord Pleanala last week under the ‘fast-track’ scheme for larger residential developments, which by-passes the local council.
The permission will see 265 build to rent apartments built by Brian M Durkan & Co developers, despite locals submitting a lengthy objection to aspects of the plan.
An Bord Pleanala are understood to have written to the Drimnagh Residents Community group (DRCG) last week, informing the group that permission had been granted for the major development, subject to condition.
Daithi Doolan, chairman of Dublin City Council’s housing committee and local SF councillor, told Dublin Gazette the decision is a “serious slap in the face” for Drimnagh locals.
He said: “This is a serious slap in the face for residents. We wanted to ensure that this development was sustainable and delivered for the community.
“This community is crying out for housing but not simply hundreds of privately rented apartments. We want a mix of affordable and social housing. That is what Drimnagh needs.”
Eoin Neylon, a member of the Drimnagh Residents Community Group and a local election candidate (FF), said that locals aren’t opposed to development on the site, but feel as if the suggestions and comments made in their submission to An Bord Pleanala weren’t taken on board at all.
He said: “Locally, a lot of people were delighted to see that something would be going ahead with [the site]. It’s a site that’s been quite run down for quite some time, and the fact something was going in there was welcomed by nearly everyone I talked to.
“The main thing that people were apprehensive about was the scale – 265 apartments in quite a small space, coupled with a lack of local services.”
Currently, there are substantial school and creche waiting lists in the area, and those new to the area have found it difficult to gain access to the local GP.
Parking in the area is also an issue, as many people park their cars in the locale, leaving them there before using the Luas.
Neylon said: “It’s envisaged for this new development that there will only be 109 car parking spaces for 260-odd apartments, with the plan being for everyone else to use public transport.
“When you put in a development like that, [it is using] transport links and services that simply aren’t there.
“We aren’t against development of the site – we just wanted our concerns listened to. What is good for the local community should be balanced against developers trying to make a profit,” he said.