High-rise Player Wills scheme approved despite objections

by Sylvia Pownall

Permission has been granted for 416 housing units on the former Bailey Gibson and Player Wills site on Dublin’s South Circular Road.

US group Hines and Dutch partners APG Assets management were given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanala for a five-block complex, up to 16 storeys in height.

The residential element of the seven-acre site will include 404 apartments, two duplexes, three triplexes and four houses.

Apartments will be primarily aimed at the private rental sector with 251 one-bed units, 134 two-beds, and nine studios, with a 10% social housing provision.

Managing director with Hines Ireland, Gary Corrigan, said: “This represents the beginning of a new chapter for the Bailey Gibson site and for Dublin 8.

“We engaged extensively with Dublin City Council, community leaders and local neighbours before bringing forward a design that could bring much-needed new housing and amenities to the area, while fully respecting the local landscape and heritage of this historic part of the city.”

Hines and APG are aiming to build up to 1,380 new homes across the site. Hines said it hopes to commence construction on the Bailey Gibson site in early 2021.

Local Labour Cllr Darragh Moriarty called for an urgent review of the Strategic Housing Development fast-track planning process in the wake of the decision.

He said An Bord Pleanala granted permission without any meaningful or substantive conditions attached, ignoring its own inspector’s report which advised refusal.

He said: “What is the actual point of these inspectors’ reports if An Bord Pleanala are going to blatantly disregard and ignore their findings?

“It makes an absolute shambles of the planning process.”

The inspector’s report advised refusing planning permission as it constitutes a “gross overdevelopment of the site” citing concerns that were raised by residents and community groups including building height and density.

Cllr Moriarty, who lodged a submission on the application, said: “The decision to grant planning permission means all these conditions have been completely ignored.

“If developers can just come along and blatantly contravene the [city development] plan as they have done here in relation to building height, density and public spaces, what is the point of local government and the planning process?”

Related Articles