502 apartments for Gallaher’s site

By Aideen O'Flaherty

PLANS for a €110m development of 502 apartments, to be housed across six apartment blocks, at the former Gallaher’s site at the junction of Airton Road and the Greenhills Road in Tallaght have been lodged with An Bord Pleanála (ABP).

Greenleaf Homes Limited, who developed the Arena Centre in Tallaght in 2008, lodged the plans for the development of the strategic housing development (SHD) last month through ABP’s fast-track system.

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Artist’s impression of the former Gallaher’s site at the junction of the Greenhills Road and Airton Road earmarked for the 502 apartments

The former Gallaher’s site fell into dereliction in recent years, but last year six acres of ‘development land’ which forms part of the site, went on the market for €4.5m.

Back in 2016, the site attracted the attention of Dublin Fire Brigade after they were called to the former cigarette factory twice in the space of a week to tackle fires on the premises, with a local councillor describing it as “clearly a crime site” at the time.

The new plans for the site include the development of six blocks to house 502 apartments, following the demolition of the former factory, with the blocks ranging in height from four to eight storeys.

The majority of the apartments are to be two-bed units, totalling 257, while there are to be 197 one-bed units and 48 three-bed units.

Provision of residential amenities, to include three retail units, a crèche, bin store areas, 202 car-parking spaces and 584 bicycle-parking spaces, are included in the plans.

It is proposed that vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist access to the development will be provided from the Greenhills Road and Airton Road, and the developer is also seeking permission to carry out road improvements and install pedestrian crossings at the site.

The developer also noted in their application that the proposal will be consistent with the objectives of the South Dublin County Council Development Plan 2016-2022, the Tallaght Town Centre Local Area Plan 2006-2016, and the Draft Tallaght Town Centre Local Area Plan 2020-2026.

A detailed breakdown of their plans and the potential contravention of local area plans is included in the application, including building height, where they stated that the Tallaght Town Draft LAP allows for building heights of between four and seven storeys at the subject site, but that the Chief Executive’s Report proposed an amendment to allow for additional building height.

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Artist’s impression of the former Gallaher’s site

In relation to plans for a linear park at Airton Road that were proposed in the Draft LAP, to be between new building frontage and the existing road, the developer stated that they see this as “unreasonable and contrary to good urban design and streetscape.”

They suggested that a “more attractive linear urban park” could be provided south of a new building line established along the southern side of Airton Road.

They concluded their Material Contravention Statement by commenting, “it is considered that the proposed development is in broad accordance with the Draft LAP, with the exception of certain objectives and standards which are considered contrary to Section 28 national planning guidelines, and which the Board are encouraged to give precedence to.”

A decision on the plans is due from ABP by June 8.

It was reported in National media that a High Court action was taken on Friday last, against the constitutionality of fast track planning laws, by billionaire financier Dermot Desmond’s wife Pat, and businessmen Chris Comerford and John Gleeson, all of whom live on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4.

It is reported that the legal action could derail plans for over 16,000 housing units across the country.

The trio are opposed to plans for more than 600 fast track apartments on former RTÉ land. In a statement they said: “Instead of delivering appropriate and sustainable housing for families, first-time buyers and downsizers, it favours build-to-rent schemes and development types that attract investment funds and financial market speculators.

This housing model is not suitable for building sustainable communities.”

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