The backers of a €25m plan to construct a co-living scheme in Dublin 4 have said there will be less demand for communal kitchens by residents as employers like Facebook provide meals in the workplace.
That is according to a first party appeal by Bartra Capital against the Dublin City Council decision to omit 18 bed spaces from its 111 bed space plan for 98 Merrion Rd.
The council ordered the omission of the 18 bed spaces in order to provide larger communal kitchens after deeming the allocated space for them “inadequate.”
In the appeal, Bartra said the omission of the spaces “will have a serious impact on the viability of the scheme".
The appeal said the development will serve employers in the area pointing out that Facebook is planning to employ 5,000 at its Ballsbridge HQ.
It was drafted by Thornton O'Connor planning consultants and said the reduction of the 18 bedspaces "will not achieve the sustainable development of this core urban site".
The quantum and quality of the communal living/kitchen/dining spaces "is entirely acceptable and will provide a high quality living environment for future residents" and thus the loss of 18 bedspaces is "unreasonable," it said.
Five third-party appeals have been lodged against the decision to grant by Valerin O’Shea, Margaret Reid, Timothy O’Donovan, Edward and Hazel O’Flynn along with Fionán and Nuala Clifford.
In his objection against the plan, Timothy O’Donovan expressed concern the proposal "will lead to clusters of Covid-19”.
Mr O’Donovan expressed his concerns due to what he believes is the inability to socially distance in the shared kitchen areas and the inability to self-isolate in the high density accommodation.
In the objection lodged on behalf of Margaret Reid, it argued it is unsustainable to build a shared living scheme in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Reid objection argued that the accommodation typology poses a significant public health risk.
The objection contended the proposed intensive nature of the development “would create a high risk cluster for potential infection”.
In his objection, Edward O’Flynn said in relation to Covid “having 111 people living in close quarters cannot be in line with any guidelines from the health authorities in terms of social distances”.
Planning consultants for Bartra told the council assuming a grant of permission, it will be three years before the building is ready for occupation and “at that juncture, we are very hopeful that Covid-19 will not be a relevant factor in the day to day operation of the building”.
Consultant Occupational & Environmental Physician, Dr Martin Hogan drew up a Covid-19 risk assessment on behalf of Bartra and said the degree of thought put into Covid-19 controls in the scheme “is excellent and exceeds anything I have seen before in a residential setting”.