I write to offer my views on the planning application submitted to Dublin City Council with regards the redevelopment of 20 Stoneybatter, the lands to the rear of 20-23A Stoneybatter and 1-2a Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7 as contained in 4734/18.
At the outset, I have to express my concern that this application proposes the construction of yet another purpose built student accommodation complex within the Stoneybatter district of Dublin 7. Less than one kilometre from the redevelopment site, planning permissions have been granted for purpose built student accommodation, including:
• 274 North Circular Road, Dublin 7 – planning permission being built out presently.
• 43, 45, 47, 51 and 53 Montpelier Hill and Rear of Nos. 37, 39, 41 and 55 Montpelier Hill, Dublin 7 – planning permission being built out presently.
• Lands at and to the rear of 84-87, Prussia Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.
• Park Shopping Centre & 42 – 45 Prussia Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.
• 13 – 18 Grangegorman Road & Fitzwilliam Place North, Dublin 7.
• 3–7 / 9–11 Grangegorman Lower & 21-27 N. Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.
• 104A – 115 Dorset Street, Dublin 7 – already built.
Between all of these planning permissions, Dublin City Council has approved planning for in excess of 2600 bed-spaces of purpose built student accommodation. While I do not object to purpose-built student accommodation, I do fear that the Planning Department is making decisions that run contrary to the principles of good planning adopted by the City Council in the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022. In the event of planning permission being granted for this development would be 142 bed spaces coupled with a potential grant of permission on the Nolan’s Seafood Ltd site on Rathdown Road for 289 bed space student accommodation complex, it would mean almost 3120 bed-spaces of student accommodation would have secured planning permission. All of this within one kilometres of the site upon which this planning application has been submitted. I ask the Planning Department of Dublin City Council to review its consideration of when oversaturation of a specific type of development in one particular district or part of the city has been met.
With regards this specific planning application, there are particular areas that I believe further information is required of the applicant, before any decision to grant planning permission can be made. Firstly, existing residents have already experienced a lot of difficulty in complexes managing roof terrace areas. Facilities on Lower Grangegorman have not been well managed and the Gardaí have had to be contacted by residents as a result of loud drunken parties occurring in the outdoor roof terrace of similar types of accommodation. I would strongly encourage the Planning Department to examine this issue and ensure that strict conditions are set out in any permission statement ensuring the onus is in the developer to put in place rigid procedures that not result in similar difficulties being experienced with this development should permission be granted and the facility become operational.
Secondly, in the documentation accompanying the planning application there is precious little, if any, attention, given to how the demolition and construction phase of the project will be managed. In particular, there is no information with regards to demolition or construction traffic. I highlight this issue because it appears that all trucks associated with the demolition and construction phases of the project will enter and exit the development site from Manor Street. This being the case, where will the construction traffic be managed? Will residents see a build-up of construction traffic along Manor Street, blocking the entrance to Stanhope Street Convent? Manor Street is one of the main arterial routes in and out of the City – is it to be blocked on a daily basis with a constant line of HGVs removing demolition rubble and other material from the site. How does the applicant intend to deal with the delivery of materials for the construction phase to proceed? I ask these questions because from the material submitted by the applicant, no information exists to provide me with clarity on these points! Therefore, it is my strong recommendation to the Planning Department of Dublin City Council that no planning permission be granted, until additional information is submitted in advance by the applicant and reviewed through a further period of public consultation by third parties, including myself. Given the volume of traffic currently using the Manor Street, Prussia Street route on a daily basis, it is an imperative that Dublin City Council seeks further information from the applicant on this point.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that if the Executive of Dublin City Council had not ignored the decision of City Councillors when they included an objective to establish a statutory Local Area Plan for Stoneybatter area in the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022, a more varied and balanced development would currently be taking place across the Stoneybatter area of Dublin 7. Instead, as a result of this failure of the Council Executive, we face yet another planning application for student accommodation as opposed to housing for families, or seniors or a level of public housing. As a result of this and the issue I have highlighted regarding the lack of detailed information relating to the management of the demolition and construction phase of the project planning permission is being sought for, the only decision, at this stage, that should and can be made by Dublin City Council is for Additional Information to be sought from the applicant.
Fine Gael Councillor – North Inner City
Fine Gael Leader, Dublin City Council
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee