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Studio plans in conflict with housing at key Dublin docklands location

Words: Roger Milne
Poolbeg peninsula

The prospect of a Hollywood-style film studio complex on Dublin’s Poolbeg peninsula is fading after a Dublin City Council assessment warned that the project would take up 60 per cent of the land designated for a significant amount of housing.

Windmill Lane Studios founder James Morris and film producer Alan Moloney want to develop an €80 million studio complex on the former Irish Glass Bottle site at Ringsend on the peninsula at the city’s east end. U2 singer Bono is supporting the scheme and lobbied senior politicians to back the studio.

But the council’s planners said the studio could not be accommodated without dramatically reducing the amount of new housing expected in the area or forcing any residential development to be much higher than planned.

Last May the government approved proposals to designate the location as a 34-hectare Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) that now enjoys fast-track planning.

Under this move parts of the zone would be retained for Dublin port use, and some office, retail, and other commercial development would be permitted, with about 5 per cent of the site retained for ’cultural’ use.

The studio complex would require eight hectares of the SDZ which represents 60 per cent of the area currently set aside for new housing.