Tallaght landscape set for significant changes
By Mary Dennehy
THE Tallaght landscape is set for significant change, with 2019 ringing in a number of planned and proposed developments which will have the potential to alter the look and layout of the ever-evolving area.
The proposed Belgard Gardens strategic housing development at the junction of Belgard Road and Belgard Square North is among a number of developments, passed or proposed, for the general area.
The site off the Belgard Road earmarked for development by Marlet (pic: Ben Ryan)
As reported in The Echo, a planning application for 438 apartments, a 403 bed-space student accommodation scheme and a new urban quarter on a 7.2 hectar site acquired by Marlet property group in 2017 has been lodged with An Bord Pleanala.
An artist impression of the proposed Belgard Gardens development
There was a focus on the Belgard Road and its surrounding areas in 2018, with the council-owned land adjacent to the proposed Belgard Gardens development, known locally as Maelruain’s Field, also on the agenda.
In September 2018, South Dublin County Council made a €27.2m competitive bid for Tallaght through the Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund – €3m of which has since been delivered.
Some of this money, if granted, is believed to be earmarked for Maelruain’s Field and the council delivery of social and affordable housing, a Tallaght Innovation Hub and a new through-road on site – all of which would be subject to a Part 8 public consultation stage.
In a presentation on the urban regeneration bid to elected representatives in County Hall in September 2018, council management outlined how it wants to address legacy issues within Tallaght’s urban centre such as plot vacancy, connections, amenity, services and housing choice – with a focus on the regeneration of brownfield sites.
Maelruain’s Field, located between Marlet site and Exchange Hall. SDCC HQ is pictured to the front of site (pic: Ben Ryan)
When asked last week by The Echo about the future of Maelruain’s Field and if there were any plans to sell the land, the council said: “Plans for council-owned lands have not been finalised.
“There are no plans to sell any land to Marlet [developers behind the Belgard Gardens application] at this moment in time.”
In 2018, Amazon also lodged a planning application for its fifth data centre at the former Jacob’s Biscuits factory site.
An artist impression of Amazon’s proposed Belgard Road data centre
While the online giant awaits a decision by South Dublin County Council, it started construction work on its fourth data centre at the former Barretts warehouse in the Greenhills Business Park on the Greenhills Road three months ago.
In the nearby Cookstown Industrial Estate, planning was granted in 2018 for 107 apartments in a substantial residential and commercial development.
Artist impression of the new development at Cookstown
The developments passed and proposed signal the changing times in relation to work and employment locally, with many of the new developments poised for sites that were once home to industrial and manufacturing businesses that generated mass employment in Tallaght and its surrounding areas.
At Tallaght University Hospital, work on the new Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre on land to the front of the hospital campus is also due to commence in the coming weeks – with the unit expected to open in 2020.
Artist impression of the new Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre at Tallaght
On the far side of the Belgard Road, IT Tallaght (now known as TU Dublin-Tallaght) applied to South Dublin County Council towards the end of 2018 for permission to build a Sports Science, Health and Recreation Building on campus.
The proposed development will contain a single-storey sports hall and teaching accommodation, a grass playing pitch with flood-lighting, scoreboards and spectator barriers, 56 covered bicycle spaces, pedestrian areas, footpaths and landscaping.
Artist impression of the proposed development at TU Dublin -Tallaght
The college has also applied for permission to build enhanced pedestrian crossing facilities at the Greenhills Road entrance.
A short distance up the road, the Kilnamanagh Tymon Primary Health Care Centre was in December officially opened, with the care centre lying in close proximity to the new Harvey Norman store on the Airton Road.
The Tallaght skyline underwent significant change in the nineties when the arrival of The Square shopping centre proved to be a catalyst for serious development in the town centre area for the best part of two decades.
Focus has now shifted out towards the Belgard Road area and its surrounding environs, with the Belgard to Cookstown link road and Airton Road extension, which are planned by South Dublin County Council, seeking to enhance connectivity within the Tallaght town centre area.
Alongside providing dual access to Tallaght University Hospital, the new roads, which are provided for in the council’s three year capital programme, will also open up land for development.