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Opposition grows to €475m mixed-use scheme in Dublin as An Taisce, senator and locals hit out

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Controversy: The proposed Kevin Street development has sparked concerns among local residents

Controversy: The proposed Kevin Street development has sparked concerns among local residents

Controversy: The proposed Kevin Street development has sparked concerns among local residents

AN Taisce, Senator Ivana Bacik and local residents have raised concerns over €475m plans to construct a large-scale mixed-use scheme for the redevelopment of DIT's former Kevin Street campus in Dublin.

In May, Shane Whelan's Westridge Real Estate lodged plans for the development of 571,671 square feet of office accommodation in two 11-storey blocks alongside 299 apartments across three buildings of up to 14 storeys in height.

Westridge acquired the 3.57-acre site for €140m in August 2019. A report lodged with the plans by EY estimates that the redevelopment will generate €7.67bn in total output over 10 years.

The designer of the scheme, Henry J Lyons, has told Dublin City Council that the proposal will become a place associated with high-quality design, a benchmark for inner-city living, and offer first-in-class office and residential space.

However in her submission, Senator Bacik told the council she is concerned that the proposal "will have a deleterious effect on the quality of life for residents in the locality".

"At 14 storeys with little transition down from the uppermost storeys to ground level, the development will be extremely jarring, both from street level and as it appears on the skyline," she said.

"I do not and would not object to high-density developments in principle, but the mass and bulk of this proposal's design lowers residential amenity and I know that the proposed height is of particular concern to many residents."

One local resident to object is 91-year-old retired architect Brian Nolan. The Portobello resident says the proposal needs to be reconsidered and reduced in scale. 

In his submission on behalf of An Taisce's Dublin City Association, Kevin Duff has contended that the demolition of the buildings on site to make way for the new development "is not justifiable".

He said the proposed development "appears over-scaled and over-massed for the location".

"The applicant is simply seeking to squeeze an excessive quantum of new development onto the site when the existing buildings should be maintained and re-used," Mr Duff said.

Local resident Jane Ohlmeyer, a professor of modern history at Trinity College Dublin, claims that the proposal "will have an over-powering detrimental effect visually on our street".

The residents of blocks 1 and 2 of Bishop Street flats also have lodged objections against the proposal. They claim that the height of the 14-storey towers will have an impact on the privacy of every resident in the flats. 

A decision is expected to be made on the plan later this month.


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