Friday 23 August 2019

'Dickensian' communal living apartment plan criticised as 42 tenants share one kitchen

An artist’s impression of the new apartments
An artist’s impression of the new apartments
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

More than 40 people will be expected to share a kitchen if plans to build a new co-living apartment building in south Dublin is approved.

The development of 208 shared-living homes in Dún Laoghaire was criticised by local representatives last night at the authority's area committee meeting.

Green Party councillors have now called for a rewriting of residential guidelines, given the "Dickensian" nature of the developer's proposals.

Bartra Capital Property intends to develop a five-storey, co-living building at the site of the former school house on Eblana Avenue in the town's centre.

Each en-suite bedroom will be 16.5sqm and include a pull-down bed and kitchenette.

Leases on the units will be from two to 12 months.

The property has been submitted to An Bord Pleanála as a strategic housing development, with a decision expected to be made in July.

The co-living scheme provides occupants with their own en-suite bathroom, but they will have to share a communal kitchen and living area.

It bridges the gap between apartments and student accommodation, with one room expected to rent for €1,300 a month.

Car parking is also not required and the number of units per floor is higher than standard apartments.

Developments are also exempt from Part V social housing obligations.

A major criticism of the Dún Laoghaire development is that 42 bedrooms on one floor are situated around a kitchen and living space to share.

Green Party European Elections candidate Ciarán Cuffe claims developments like these provide an insight into a dystopian housing market "driven by profit and greed".

"I suspect that even the communal living apartments of Soviet Russia had more generous spatial standards than are apparent in this planning application," he said.

"If permission is granted for this development, it will result in a slowing down of provision of adequately sized homes, as super-profits will be made from these shoebox units."

Green party Cllr Ossian Smyth told the Irish Independent that if this shared-living apartment was approved, then many more like it would follow suit.

Bartra Capital Property was recently rebuffed by Dublin City Council, when it tried to build 105 such units in Rathmines in south Dublin.

Attempts were made to contact Bartra Capital, but the developer did not respond at the time of going to press.

Irish Independent

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