Monday 19 February 2018

Film studio 'won't detract from social housing'

The former Glass Bottle Company site at Poolbeg just south of Dublin city
The former Glass Bottle Company site at Poolbeg just south of Dublin city

Jane O'Faherty and Michael Cogley

Dublin City Council has moved to assure councillors that a proposed Hollywood-size film studio in Poolbeg will not take away from its social housing commitments.

The studio, which is set to be 180,000 square feet when completed, could form part of the council's development scheme on the old Irish Glass Bottle Company site. It is hoped that the 80-acre area, a strategic development zone (SDZ), could deliver up to 3,000 new homes.

But councillors say they will not accept the development if only 10pc of the units are social and affordable housing.

Read more: 3,000 new homes to be built in middle of Dublin city

Read more: High-quality city living needs joined-up thinking like this scheme

Speaking with local representatives, DCC senior planner Deirdre Scully said while the Poolbeg site is suited to being used for a studio and other facilities, creating more housing is a "critical" issue.

"Housing is the priority issue for the SDZ to address," she said.

Ms Scully was replying to Councillor Paddy McCartan, who said he "couldn't see" how there would be enough space for both the studio as well as housing and supporting services.

Plans for the studio have already been widely welcomed by those in the film industry, and could create 3,000 jobs.

The proposed facility also got the backing of U2's Bono, who has lobbied the Government in support of the project.

Meanwhile, developer Sean Mulryan's Ballymore has indicated the group is interested in the site.

"A lot of people are going to be interested, it's a very significant site," Mr Mulryan said.

"It's a big opportunity. You're going to have a lot of people looking at that when the opportunity arises."

Ballymore is set to leave Nama at the end of the year after it repaid €2.6bn plus interest on its original borrowings.

Irish Independent

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