Thursday 22 March 2018

NAMA unveils plan for homes and offices in Dublin Docklands


Paul Melia Environment Correspondent

STATE bad-bank NAMA plans to ramp up investment in new homes and offices in the Dublin Docklands.

The move comes after An Bord Pleanala approved the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme, which will facilitate fast-track construction of commercial and residential developments across a 22-hectare site.

Some 50pc of all new development will be badly-needed homes in the city centre, amounting to some 2,600 units, sufficient for 5,800 people.

In addition, there will also be as much as 366,000 square metres of office and commercial floorspace, giving capacity to employ 24,000 people.

NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh welcomed the decision to approve the scheme, which was proposed and developed by Dublin City Council.

“An Bord Pleanála’s timely decision means that the development of properties in the Docklands SDZ area under the control of NAMA receivers and debtors can now be accelerated over the coming years, to meet the emerging supply shortages in office and residential accommodation in the centre of Dublin,” he said.

“The decision marks a key milestone in the necessary development of the Docklands area, thereby enabling the maximisation of economic and commercial benefits to NAMA and the Irish economy”.

Approval of the planning scheme means the entire area is considered a strategic development zone, which means that developments can be fast-tracked through the planning system, provided they meet certain criteria.

A six day public hearing was held in February and March this year.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn said there was an “urgent need” for new offices in the city centre, and the Docklands was a “highly attractive” area for international investors.

However, he warned that government had to ensure that developers did not “mothball” sites, delaying development, in the hope of benefitting in a rising market.

The remaining sites available for development in the North Lotts and Grand Canal equate to some 22 hectares, an area roughly equivalent in scale to the entire Custom House Docks / IFSC Area.

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