Hines gets green light for apartments scheme on site of Player Wills factory

An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to fast track plans by US property giant, Hines to construct 732 residential units on the site of the former Player Wills factory in Dublin 8.

The development includes four apartment blocks with one reaching 19 storeys in height and comprises of 492 build-to-rent apartments and 240 shared accommodation units on a site fronting onto South Circular Road.

The proposal for the 7.6 acre site involves the demolition of all buildings on site excluding the original fabric of the original Player Wills factory, which will be extended from four to eight storeys in height.

The planning application faced strong local opposition with more than 180 submissions lodged with An Bord Pleanála concerning the contentious scheme.

Some of those to object include a number of residents’ groups.

The board inspector in the case, Stephen Rhys Thomas, stated that nearly all those to make submissions were critical of the proposal in terms of height and scale with objectors pointing out that the scheme was out of proportion with the local streets and would impact on the visual amenities of the area.

However, Dublin City Council told the board that the development was acceptable and would comply with the development objectives of the site.

The board agreed and concluded that the scheme would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development.

The board also gave the proposal the green light after concluding that it contributed to the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan in terms of delivering compact growth and urban regeneration.

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Strategic development

The board also said the development is of strategic and national importance due to its potential to contribute to the Government policy to increase the delivery of housing from its current under supply.

As part of his recommendation to grant planning permission, Mr Rhys Thomas found that the site was extremely well connected to public transport links and that he was satisfied “that this is a good location for taller buildings and higher residential densities”.

He stated that the proposed development “will make a positive contribution to place-making, will incorporate new streets and public spaces”.

The inspector also found that “the use of greater mass and height will achieve greater densities with sufficient varieties in scale and form”.

The inspector stated that because of the two towers’ location within the overall site, “the proposed heights are acceptable and will result in an overall positive visual impact”.

As part of Hines’ social housing obligations, it has put a price tag of €19.7 million on 49 apartments it is proposing to sell to Dublin City Council.

The price range of the apartments Hines is proposing to sell to the council ranges from €238,828 for a studio apartment to €611,644 for a three-bedroom apartment. With planning granted, the developer and Council can now enter talks on completing the proposed deal.


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