Monday 21 January 2019

Bartra Capital plans €600m residential development spree

Developer awaiting go-ahead for more than 400 units and 1,581 bedrooms

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is introducing new rules
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is introducing new rules

Michael Cogley

Richard Barrett's Bartra Capital Property Group plans to build more than €600m worth of residential and commercial property over the coming years.

The development company told the Sunday Independent it has planned the construction of 454 residential units and 1,581 bedrooms in shared living, student accommodation, and nursing homes.

However, construction has been slowed by considerable levels of objections, including more than 200 over a planned development in Bulloch Harbour in south Dublin.

Bartra has entered the fast-track system with An Bord Pleanala with three shared-living developments. The concept, which was approved by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy last year, is aimed at young professionals who have their own bedrooms and cooking facilities but would also have access to shared living rooms and kitchens.

The company is awaiting clearance to build 250 bedrooms at Northwood in north Dublin. A further 223 have been planned for Blanchardstown, while 193 will be in Cookstown in south-west Dublin.

Under the fast-track system, large-scale developments can be put straight to An Bord Pleanala for decision, which has 16 weeks to decide.

Bartra's planning and development director, Hazel Jones, said the company was responding to the housing crisis with a range of homes from social to newer forms not yet seen in Dublin.

"The planning system is only lately recognising the need for a range of tenure types - the way we live our lives is changing dramatically," she said.

"We need to embrace the more global and transient lifestyle lived particularly by younger people and respond to their needs. They want a more urban lifestyle, they want experiences rather than ownership. At the same time they want quality of accommodation, safety and security."

Jones said the new system had hit smaller projects.

"A number of our smaller but equally important residential applications, also amounting to hundreds of units, are suffering inordinate delays with a backlog at board level in An Bord Pleanala," she said. "Taking 12 months to deal with an application for 20 units is really unacceptable in the current crisis.

"The backlog at board level needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency."

Bartra has also agreed a number of long-term leases with local authorities for social housing.

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