Old CBS site earmarked for “bedspace” accommodation

by Gary Ibbotson

Bartra Capital Property Group have submitted a planning application to An Bord Pleanala for 208 ‘bedspaces’ on the old CBS site in central Dun Laoghaire.

Bartra are using the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) fast-track legislation to apply directly to An Bord Pleanala.

Using this legislation allows the developer to bypass the council and the County Development Plan in the hopes of obtaining permission quicker.

Located on Eblana Avenue in Dun Laoghaire, the CBS site has been vacant for over a decade and has been the target of numerous planning permissions over the years.

The application is for five stories with 208 bedspaces with communal living and dining rooms and some extra leisure spaces.

The whole proposed development is build-to-rent.

People Before Profit councillor Melisa Halpin has criticised the move saying that developers trying to profit from the housing crisis by building bedspaces instead of homes is “outrageous”.

“I am shocked at this planning application. What Dun Laoghaire needs is affordable homes, not “bedspaces” that some developer is going to make a quick buck out of,” Halpin says.

“It is fast becoming clear that there are many developers, who are only too happy to use the excuse of the housing crisis to find new ways to maximise the profits on their properties without a thought for the actual needs of our society.

“Essentially this development is like the student housing that is flying up all over the city centre, but it is aimed at workers. The bedsits will probably be between 12 and 15 square metres and if the student accommodation rents are anything to go by, the price tag for a month’s rent will be in the region of €1,500.”

The news comes as 50 new homes earmarked for social housing were opened by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on Monday morning.

Independent councillor Michael Merrigan said this was great news for families waiting on the social housing list.

Merrigan said the houses had been allocated and he expects the new tenants to be given their keys and take occupancy within the week.

The site was formerly occupied by the Fitzgerald Park flat complex, which were demolished in 2006 and planning approval was received in June 2015.

Construction commenced on site on the 28 November 2016 for 50 units and there is a mix of one, two, three and four bed houses and apartments.

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