Planning granted for 114 build-to-rent apartments
An artist impression of the 114 build-to-rent apartments and duplexes on Stocking Avenue in Woodstown

Planning granted for 114 build-to-rent apartments

AN BORD Pleanála has granted planning permission for the development of 114 build-to-rent apartments and duplexes.

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD), which is comprised of a mix of one, two and three bed units and assembled in six apartment blocks, is located on lands south of Stocking Avenue in Woodstown.

The applicant, Ardstone Homes Ltd, applied for fast-track planning last June and An Bord Pleanála

(ABP) gave the go-ahead, subject to 28 conditions, on September 16, 2021.

The developer is required to submit details of a covenant or legal agreement which confirms that the development will remain owned and operated “by an institutional entity” for at least 15-years.

Part of that agreement needs to also outline that no residential units will be sold separately for the duration of the 15-years, which starts from the occupation of the first residential unit.

Prior to the expiration of that 15-year period, the developer is required to submit ownership details and management structures for the continued operation as a build-to-rent scheme.

If they deviate from the build-to-rent model which has been authorised, that will be subject to a separate planning application.

Some of the other conditions are around providing electric vehicle charging points at 10 percent of car parking spaces, submitting an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and implementing a Biodiversity Management Plan and Construction Management Plan.

According to the report, construction at the site can be carried out Monday to Saturday between the hours of 7am-7pm.

Over the course of the planning application process, TDs and councillors have submitted objections to the development – taking particular aim at the SHD planning system.

The developer is required to submit a Mobility Management Strategy, which will encourage the use of public transport, cycling and walking.

SHD applications go straight to An Bord Pleanála, bypassing councils and disarming elected representatives from making a decision on a large-scale development.

In July, when talking to The Echo about three SHDs in the Woodstown area – including this particular development – Cllr Emma Murphy described the SHD system as a “slap in the face” for local authorities, councillors and communities.

Green Party TD, Francis Noel Duffy, submitted an objection to the development, citing a “lack of meaningful democratic public consultation” and labelled it as “not conductive of sustainable community development”.

Deputy Duffy highlighted that only 29 percent of all planning applications granted permission have been completed since the inception of the SHD scheme in June 2017.

“This signals the failure of the scheme to deliver on its intended purpose,” he said.

Fast track legislation for SHDs, which was signed into effect by then-Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, for the purpose of meeting the demand for housing, is set to be abolished in the coming months.

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