Friday 18 January 2019

Marlet gets green light for 420 homes in Dublin

An artist’s impressions of Marlet’s proposed residential development in Cabra, Dublin
An artist’s impressions of Marlet’s proposed residential development in Cabra, Dublin

Ronald Quinlan, Commercial Property Editor

Developer Pat Crean's Marlet Property Group has been given the green light by An Bord Pleanala for 420 homes on the site of CIE's former lands on Carnlough Road in Cabra.

The permission, which was granted last Thursday, is one of the largest given to date under the terms of the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme.

The system, signed into law by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in June of last year, allows developers seeking permission for large-scale residential schemes of 100 housing units or more to bypass local authorities, and apply directly to An Bord Pleanala.

While this 'fast-track' system of planning experienced teething problems initially, with a number of applications being declared invalid as a result of a failure on the part of developers to comply fully with the guidelines for the paperwork required for SHDs, it now appears to be running efficiently.

An artist’s impressions of Marlet’s proposed residential development in Cabra, Dublin
An artist’s impressions of Marlet’s proposed residential development in Cabra, Dublin

Indeed, in the case of Marlet's application to build on its Cabra site, An Bord Pleanala completed its deliberations and issued its decision in just 14 weeks - two weeks ahead of the 16-week timeframe allowed for the under the fast-track scheme.

Welcoming the decision and the speed at which it had been delivered, Marlet CEO Pat Crean said: "The efficency of the fast-track planning process has been shown in the manner in which this application has been processed by an Bord Pleanala, and it comes thanks to the positive steps taken by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to address the housing crisis with action.

"Dublin City Council's role in the process during the pre-application meetings certainly supported the seamless nature of the SHD process."

The Cabra development forms just one element within Marlet's 'Dublin Living' scheme - Ireland's largest ever Private Rented Sector (PRS) public offering comprising approximately 1,170 units across the capital on sites which it owns in conjunction with its finance partner, the international asset manager, M&G Investments.

Apart from Cabra, the Dublin Living portfolio includes three other sites at Mount Argus and St Clare's in Harold's Cross, Dublin 6W, and at Bluebell in Dublin 12.

All told, the four PRS schemes will deliver a mixture of residential apartments, which are predominately two-beds (750 in total) with 255 one-beds and the remaining 165 units laid out as three-beds.

Commenting further on the permission received for Marlet's development on its Cabra site, Pat Crean noted that it would be the first purpose-designed, build-to-rent scheme in Dublin.

The Marlet chief also noted the Cabra development's eight-storey height, and remarked that it showed a willingness on the part of Dublin City Council, An Bord Pleanala and the Housing Minister's department to deliver the kind of 'compact city envisioned as part of the Government's 'Ireland 2040' plan.

Referring to the potential positive impact of An Bord Pleanala decision's for developers generally, Crean said: "It is encouraging for developers as there is now a very clear path to obtaining planning permission for large-scale projects.

"This will enable funders to get comfortable, and will in turn lead to more developments commencing on the ground."

Elsewhere in the capital, publicly-listed homebuilder Cairn Homes received approval from An Bord Pleanala under the fast-track planning system last week for the development of 130 residential apartments and 179 student accommodation units in Stillorgan, in south county Dublin.

The student units will comprise 576 beds, a gym, study spaces, communal lounges, 907 sq m of retail and restaurant space and a 297 sq m community sports hall in Stillorgan village.

Commenting on the decision, Cairn's chief commercial officer, Kevin Stanley, said: "There is a huge supply/demand imbalance for student accommodation which creates difficulties for parents to source and pay for suitable accommodation for their sons and daughters attending third level in the capital."

Sunday Independent

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