Tuesday 16 July 2019

Watchdog shoots down plans to build huge co-living project as 'haphazard'

  

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John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Plans for a huge co-living project in south Dublin have been shot down by An Bord Pleanála.

The 222 shared-living spaces were planned by developer Bartra Capital in Tallaght, and it was the first such scheme to be assessed by the planning watchdog.

Bartra, which is headed by former Treasury Holdings boss Richard Barrett, also intended to build and rent out 150 apartments on the site at Cookstown Industrial Estate.

Co-living spaces are permissible under changes to apartment guidelines introduced by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy last year. Occupants have their own en-suite room, but share a communal kitchen and living area.

But An Bord Pleanála said the proposal from Bartra would not provide an "acceptable living environment" and added there was a "notable shortfall in the provision of sufficient communal facilities".

The planning watchdog said the proposed scheme would result in an "isolated, piecemeal pocket of residential development" that would be disconnected from shops and local amenities.

The Department of Housing has said it is satisfied that the co-living guidelines "are robust and will continue to monitor the sector".

The shared-living space planned by Bartra would have included a communal cinema space and library space, as well as a games room. It said the target market for such shared-living space is single millennials, aged 25 to 34.

Bartra has described shared-living space as a "modern form of accommodation reflecting the needs and wants of today's society".

Yesterday Bartra Capital refused to comment on An Bord Pleanála's decision to block its development in Tallaght.

An Bord Pleanála was scathing in its rejection of the proposed scheme, which it said it would represent an "unco-ordinated and haphazard form of development".

Bartra is also planning 200 co-living units in Dún Laoghaire.

Irish Independent

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