A potential development site in the South Inner City has been declared vacant by An Bord Pleanala.

It was confirmed last Thursday that the planning board would uphold Dublin City Council’s decision to formally declare the former John Player Wills site on South Circular Road as vacant.

It is believed the land is sizeable enough to be able to accommodate the development of more than 600 housing units on the South Circular Road.

The land appears in Dublin City Council’s September 2017 register of the 10 largest vacant sites, based on valuation.

In September 2017, the vacant 2.4092 hectare site was valued at €23.8 million, with permission having previously been granted for the development of 11 buildings in various heights on the land. It is the largest site on the register, and entered the vacant sites register in July 2017.

Speaking in the Seanad, Crumlin based Senator, Catherine Ardagh said: “This site, which is currently under the control of NAMA and recently valued in the region of €100million, is of massive strategic importance to our area.

“The South Inner City is in the grip of an ongoing housing crisis. DCC have sought to take Weaver Square and its allotments to use for development but as I have previously pointed out, the needs of residents locally shouldn’t necessarily be sacrificed.

“The vacant lands around the former John Player factory could be a better alternative to seizing much used and much loved green space when it’s already in short supply. Focus should instead be on maximising the value of the vacant site to alleviate the crisis in housing by developing sustainable, affordable housing on it.”

Ardagh had previously said that the site is of critical importance for the development of housing in the area, in a locality that finds itself one of the most adversely affected in the housing crisis.

“The economic and social needs of the communities throughout the South Inner City need to be respected and the proper use of this site is the perfect opportunity to see that happen.”

The former John Player Wills site is listed as currently being owned by Players Square Limited, who are in receivership.