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Ireland round-up: County Clare power plant site set to become a green hub; Co-living project approved for Dublin shopping centre

Words: Roger Milne

A round-up of planning news in Ireland: 10 April-16 April, 2021

County Clare power plant site set to become a green hub

Power company ESB has announced proposals to transform the site of Ireland’s last coal-fired power station into a green energy hub.

The Planner

Co-living project approved for Dublin shopping centre

A co-living development at Dublin’s Phibsborough shopping centre has been approved by An Bord Pleanála, the first of this type of scheme given the go-ahead since the government’s ban. MM Capital, owner of the Phibsborough shopping centre, submitted an application to the board for a project with 321 single rooms after the ban was announced but before it came into force. In granting permission, the board has reduced the number of rooms from 321 to 297.

Irish Times

Go-ahead for 200-bed Croke Park hotel

The GAA has secured the green light for a 200-bed hotel near Croke Park following An Bord Pleanála’s rejection of a third-party appeal against Dublin City Council’s decision to give the go-ahead for the seven-storey hotel on part of the grounds of Clonliffe College. The GAA acquired the site from the Archdiocese of Dublin for an estimated €95 million.

Irish Times

Planning ruling over County Wicklow outdoor wedding venue

Businessman Ken Rohan has emerged victorious in a planning row with the owners of the five-star Powerscourt Hotel in County Wicklow over a 214-seater outdoor wedding venue, a €250,000 amphitheatre, built without planning permission at the hotel, which overlooks the Sugarloaf mountain. Rohan lives next door to the hotel and successfully appealed to An Bord Pleanála that the development required planning permission.

Irish Times

Report bangs the drum for bog restoration

Restoring vast tracts of Irish bogs, including large commercial peatlands developed by Bord na Móna, will have a big impact in capturing carbon but also significantly improve water quality, according to a report by the Water Forum, which advises the government.

Irish Times

LDA moves

The government has begun recruiting for the chairperson and board for the Land Development Agency, which has a key role in ensuring state lands are used to boost the provision of housing. Confirmation of this move came as the outgoing interim chair John Moran, the former secretary general of the Department of Finance, voiced concern over the size of the budget for the agency, which still requires statutory status.  

Irish Government and Irish Times

Major pioneering South Dublin housing scheme gets underway

Maplewood Residential and Grandbrind Limited are to start construction of a 1,034-home development at Kilcarbery in the South Dublin suburban town of Clondalkin. This is the first public-private housing project of its kind in the republic and also the first development under the government’s Rebuilding Ireland housing initiative.

Irish Independent

County Kildare bypass opens to traffic

A new bypass of Sallins in County Kildare, which includes access to the M7 motorway, is now open to traffic.

Irish Times

Dart coastal route progress

Multidisciplinary consultancy Arup has been engaged to realise the 86-kilometre DART+ Coastal route, from Drogheda to Greystones, which is being funded by the National Transport Authority under Project Ireland 2040.

Irish Independent

County Limerick IDA development

The IDA, the state agency responsible for attracting and retaining inward foreign direct investment to Ireland, has obtained the go-ahead for a 3,500-square-metre facility at Raheen in County Limerick.

Irish Independent

Bird species under threat

A quarter of bird species on the island of Ireland are now on the ‘red list’ of high conservation concern, according to a report jointly compiled by RSPB NI and BirdWatch Ireland.

Irish News

Capital boutique hotel approval appealed

A Dublin city centre resident has lodged a third-party appeal with An Bord Pleanála over the city council’s decision to approve Red Carnation Hotels (UK) Ltd’s plan to convert and extend a former Jesuit university students’ residence at Hatch Hall into a 60-bedroom boutique hotel.

Irish Times

O’Brien plans doubling of affordable and social housing requirement

Housing minister Darragh O’Brien is reported to be seeking cabinet approval to double – from 10 to 20 per cent – the number of affordable and social houses in every new housing development in the state.

Irish Times

Green light for Blackrock fast-track flats

An Bord Pleanála has approved Seabren Development’s fast-track proposal for 100 flats at the southern end of the Dublin suburb of Blackrock.

Irish Times

Go-ahead for Liffey Valley shopping centre extension

Property group Hines has secured planning permission from South Dublin County Council for a €135 million major extension to its Liffey Valley shopping centre, which will include two large new retail units and a large public plaza.

Irish Times

More powers for new marine planning regulator

The new agency that will regulate development in marine areas – the Marine Area Regulatory Authority – will be more than the enforcement body originally anticipated and will take on the consent roles that ministers were expected to perform, minister Peter Burke told a wind energy industry conference this week. The agency will assess and grant all Maritime Area Consents as well as licensing activities in the maritime area. An Bord Pleanála and relevant coastal local authorities will still serve as the planning authorities for projects requiring planning permission, he confirmed.

Irish Government

OPR launches development plan calculator

An innovative and user-friendly application that allows anyone to calculate the different stages and time frames for city and county development plans has been launched by the Office for the Planning Regulator.

Office of the Planning Regulator