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Plans for hundreds of affordable homes under Digital Hub masterplan


The proposed site was formerly owned by the Digital Hub Development Agency

The proposed site was formerly owned by the Digital Hub Development Agency

The proposed site was formerly owned by the Digital Hub Development Agency

Hundreds of affordable homes will be delivered under a masterplan being prepared for lands in Dublin’s Liberties, it has emerged.

The project, which has a working title of Pear Tree Crossing, proposes a mixed-use development on a 3.72-hectare site that straddles both sides of Thomas Street.

The extensive lands and properties, owned by the Digital Hub Development Agency since 2001, were recently transferred to the Land Development Agency (LDA).

The Government body has a remit to redevelop State and local authority-owned land, as well as facilitate large-scale housing schemes on other key sites.

Under the plan, the Digital Hub itself will remain in operation for start-up, enterprise and community programmes.

It’s envisaged the wider site will be developed for housing, commercial and workspace purposes, in addition to accommodating heritage, tourism and community uses.

The site extends from School Street in the south, north to Thomas Street and across to Bonham Street.

Well-known landmarks within the masterplan area include St Patrick’s Tower, the old Guinness Hopstore (now the Digital Exchange), the Crane Street Vathouse, a former Bank of Ireland premises and a range of disused heritage buildings and properties.

The LDA has launched an initial consultation for the proposal which will include mixed-tenure affordable homes and the adaptive reuse of key heritage buildings.

In a statement, the LDA said: “Our mission is to make efficient use of State lands to help deliver affordable housing.

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“The Digital Hub site has huge potential to create a sustainable residential and mixed-use community, delivering hundreds of new homes.

“The local community and those currently working at the site will play a key part in the discussions we are starting about how it might change.

“Our approach will see the space open up and give back to its neighbours, welcoming in the local community, providing affordable homes, community space and workspaces.”

The agency intends to submit a first phase planning application during 2023 following a formal public consultation later this year.

Subject to planning permission, all phases of the project are expected to be delivered over the next decade.

Separately, Ballymore and Diageo Ireland are developing a major regeneration plan for a 12-acre section of the St James’s Gate brewery site, known as the Guinness Quarter, which will be designed as Dublin’s first zero-carbon district.

The masterplan is to be finalised in the coming months with a planning application due to be submitted to Dublin City Council later this year.